Susquehannock girls fall on PIAA penalty kicks
It was as tough a loss as any, and the looks on the faces of the Susquehannock Warriors girls said it all.
After playing 80 minutes of scoreless soccer and two overtime periods, it came down to penalty kicks between the Warriors and Mercyhurst Prep Lakers. In the ninth round, Maggie Clark was stopped on her chance. Mercyhurst's Elizabeth Kerner stepped up and buried her shot past Warriors keeper Ashley Stone for the victory.
“Penalty kicks are a tough way to lose,” Susquehannock head coach Pat Brubaker said. “Especially being that quite dramatic.”
The drama wasn’t only saved for the back-and-forth battle the two squads had during the penalty kicks.
Although the first half saw neither side able to find the back of the net, the Lakers maintained possession for much of the half. They were able to get three shots on goal, which included a good opportunity midway in the half. A lead pass by Claire Johnson set up Anne Elia for a Mercyhurst chance, but Elia could not get a good shot off.
The Warriors had to make a big defensive stop late in the half after a Laker attacker made her way into the penalty area. Susquehannock was able to get back and break up the chance.
The second half saw the Lakers continue their attack on the Warriors, but Stone made stop after stop to keep the game scoreless. At the 14:27 mark of the half the Lakers got two close range shots off, and Stone made the back-to-back saves.
“Believe it or not, she is a better basketball player than soccer play. She plays soccer about two months a year,” Brubaker said about Stone. “She’s a phenomenal athlete, and you saw that today. I think she is easily the best goalie in York County … That was the best game I’ve seen her play.”
Stone kept her performance going into OT. As the first extra period came to a close, Mercyhurst found the back of the net, but the goal was waived off because it came after the buzzer. The second overtime period yielded no result, and in the end it was nine rounds of penalty kicks that decided the winner.
“We knew they were going to be one of the best teams we played all year, and they were,” Brubaker said. “They were excellent. Very well skilled, well coached and organized. We didn’t create many chances … But we defend hard, and we try to counter. That’s what we’ve done all season. I don’t think anyone shut (the Lakers) out all year.
“So I’m very proud of this group of girls that they were able to accomplish that today.”
Saturday was the first time this season that the Lakers, who entered the game ranked 22nd in Pennsylvania according to MaxPreps.com, had been held off the scoreboard this season.
Mercyhurst Prep 0, Susquehannock 0
(Mercyhurst Prep wins in PKs, 7-6)
First Half — none
Second Half — none
Shots on goal — Sus 7, MP 14 ; Corners — Sus 0, MP 12; Goalies — Sus, Ashley Stone (14 saves), MP, Elyza Pilatowski ( 7 save).