Knights outlast Patriots in playoff PK shootout

After East View rallies to force extra time, Mac returns the favor with a tying score in second overtime period


Julia Copas

The Knights and their first-year coach Barney Guerra huddle around their new favorite shared possession: the bi-district championship trophy.

Julia Copas, Mac photojournalism

Hot off their 3-2 statement victory over district champion Ann Richards to close the regular season, the girls varsity soccer team entered the 5A state playoff tournament on Thursday with an even stiffer test, a road playoff game against Georgetown East View, the District 23-5A runner up.

Going into the game, the Knights felt the game was a formidable challenge.

After our first goal, we realized we could hang with them, and that we needed to do this.

— junior goalkeeper Rylee Hissey

“I think all of us were feeling like we weren’t going to win and that it was going to be a tough loss,” junior goalkeeper Rylee Hissey said.

That outlook changed for the better 20 minutes into the game when junior captain Sarah Hauck gained possession and slotted a shot just past the Patriots’ goalie. The rest of the half was scoreless, thanks to Hissey’s goalkeeping.

After halftime, the Patriots created multiple opportunities to score, but the combination of the Knight defense and Hissey coming up with clutch saves prevented the Patriots from scoring through most of the second half.

As the time on the clock dwindled, it looked increasingly like McCallum was going to claim a 1-0 win, but then in a sequence that seemed like it unfolded in slow motion, an East View player received a pass and advanced toward the goal. At first, it seemed as if Hissey could save the shot on goal, but it slipped past her into the net. The buzzer arrived with the teams still knotted at 1.

During the five-minute break before the overtime period started, the Knights regrouped.

“After our first goal, we realized we could hang with them, and that we needed to do this,” Hissey said.

The Patriots tested that resolve when, with just 10 minutes remaining in the first extra-time period, they took their first lead of the game. It suddenly looked like the Knights’ pregame premonition might come to pass.

Senior Chloe Anderson’s successful penalty kick ended up being the narrowest of victory margin for the underdog Knights. (Julia Copas)

Luckily for them, however, soccer overtime is not sudden death, and there are two periods of extra time.

With time winding down in that second half of extra time, senior Emmi Anderson retrieved the ball from under the feet of the East View defense. She drove down the field, and then blasted a shot past the arms of the East View goalkeeper and into the net to tie the score again.

When the clock expired with the score still deadlocked, the game advanced to a final showdown: a penalty-kick shootout.

It was a scenario the Knights did not anticipate or prepare for.

“We’d never practiced [penalty kicks] before, so I was like, ‘Great, I get to do something I’ve never done before, but of all times during a playoff game,’” Hissey said.

We’d never practiced [penalty kicks] before, so I was like, ‘Great, I get to do something I’ve never done before, but of all times during a playoff game.’

— Hissey

As McCallum’s best lined up to end the game once and for all, the excitement grew. East View shot first and converted. Sarah Hauck took the first kick for the Knights and buried her attempt into the corner of the net with such pace that the East View keeper barely even moved at all.

Hissey saved the ensuing East View attempt, and junior Kat Klein converted her penalty to give the Knights a 2-1 lead in the shootout.

After the Patriots converted to tie the shootout at 2, senior captain Chloe Anderson pushed the Knights to the brink of victory with a third successful penalty.

When Hissey saved the next Patriot PK, the Knights inched even closer to victory.

Senior captain Sydney Suárez-Wallace was up next with a change to score and end the game.
She made solid contact but fired a shot too near the East View goalkeeper who managed to block it with her body.

Still trailing by one, the Patriots had one more chance: convert and extend the game. If not, the game would be over. Hissey braced to make one more big save, but instead the East View player sent the ball sailing above the crossbar and that was it.

McCallum pulled off the upset against a higher-seeded team from a tougher district, thanks to opportunistic offense and timely goalkeeping.

“What I would do is I would look at their eyes, because every single time they’d look where they were going to kick, so I knew which way to go, but I knew that I had to get the speed in order to actually stop it,” Hissey said of her technique during penalty kicks.

After this game, it seems as though anything is possible.

Next up, the Knights return to Georgetown to play at Birkelbach Field against the Belton Tigers in an area playoff showdown 6 p.m. on Tuesday.


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