Girls Varsity Soccer · Stars advance in PKs over Tipton

Sheridan — There were several times in which the Western Boone girls soccer team could have hung their heads Thursday night in the sectional semifinal against Tipton.

Leading 2-1 with less than 20 minutes, the Stars saw the Blue Devils tie the score, and force overtime. In the shootout, the Stars had a chance to win it in the fifth round, only to see the shot sail over the goal.

But none of that fazed the team, who got a second save from Caitlin Smith in the seventh round, and Rachael Coleman converted her ensuing kick to give the Stars a 2-2 (5-4 in penalty kicks) win.

“I am really proud of the way they dug deep to get a win today,” Western Boone head coach Brett Craig said. “Their heads are always in the right place and it is a great group of girls.”

The action went back-and-forth through most of the first half, but a mistake in the back allowed the Blue Devils to take a 1-0 lead with 10:25 left in the half and carried that lead into the intermission.

Craig said that the halftime talk just stressed for the Stars to continue to do what they were doing.

“We knew that we were still in it,” Craig said. “I didn’t feel like a 1-0 lead meant much of anything. We were still in it, and we just had to keep doing what we were doing.”

The Stars pressed forward in the second half and were rewarded with the lead with two goals in three minutes.

First, Madison Jones out-ran the Tipton defense and beat the goalie to a through ball before slotting it home to tie the game with 26:33 left in the game. A little more than three minutes later, Hillary Reed played a perfect pass to Jones, who scored her second goal to make it 2-1 with 23:13 to play.

“We are starting to connect and drive in,” Craig said. “If we were going to connect at any point, I am glad that it is at end of the season.”

The lead didn’t last long for the Stars.

Tipton tied the game with 18:49 to play and while both teams pushed forward looking for the go-ahead go for the rest of regulation and overtime, there was no official shot on goal and the game went to penalty kicks.

The Stars had been in penalty kicks once earlier in the season in win against North Montgomery.

“We knew we had been there before,” Craig said. “We practice it, our heads are in the right place during it and we know how to get it done. I just told the girls it was a walk in the park and to step out and treat it like it.”

In the shootout, each team made their first kick and missed their second. Tied at 2 after three rounds, Smith made a save in the fourth round and Emily Voils scored to give the Stars a 3-2 advantage.

Tipton made their fifth shot, and Karlie Saunders shot went over the bar to force sudden death kicks. Both teams made their kick in the sixth round, and after Smith made a save to her right in the seventh, Coleman made her shot to send the Stars to the sectional title game.

Craig said that he was proud of his keeper for making a couple of big saves.
“She stepped up when she needed to,” Craig said. “You can’t ask for anything more.”

Next up for the Stars is a sectional title game rematch with University, who beat Sheridan 9-0.

The Trailblazers won the regular season meeting 6-1. Kick-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Sheridan.