The season of the Switzerland County Lady Pacer varsity soccer team came to an end on Saturday in the championship match of the Rising Sun Sectional.
After battling to win an exciting, overtime semifinal game against Milan on Thursday; Saturday’s championship game brought a match up with highly-ranked Oldenburg Academy.
On Thursday night, conference champion Milan got on the board early on an obscure play in front of the Switzerland County goal; and the Lady Indians held that lead throughout the remainder of the first half. Switzerland County was pushing the offense, getting many more shots on goal, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Into the second half, Switzerland County scored to tie the game with 16:46 left in regulation when Raylinn Kappes drilled home a shot from the right side.
The Lady Pacers kept the pressure on, and with about eight minutes left, a shot by Rylee Hankins sailed just over the goal; and Kappes had another opportunity when her shot was just over the goal post.
At the end of regulation, the teams were tied at 1-1. IHSAA regulations mandate that overtime consist of two seven-minute overtime periods, both of which had to be played even if one team scored.
Then, 14 minutes and two overtime periods later, the game was still tied at 1-1.
The game would be decided by penalty kicks.
Each team selects five players, each of whom takes a penalty kick against the opposing team’s goalie.
Tensions were high, as Switzerland County opened the shootout with Kappes taking the first shot. That attempt was good, pushing the Lady Pacers in front.
Optimism rose even higher moments later when Lady Pacer goalie Jordan Scott stopped Milan’s first shot, maintaining the lead. Lady Pacer senior Calleigh Powell had the second shot, and her attempt bounced squarely off of the bar for an unlucky bounce. Milan’s second player then made her attempt, tying the shootout at 1-1.
Kayley Jones saw her third attempt sail over the crossbar for another close miss; and again Milan couldn’t score as Scott held firm in goal.
Senior Kinsley Griffith pounded home Switzerland County’s second point on the fourth attempt; and again Milan missed. That set up the final attempts of the night.
Lady Pacer junior Allie Bruce lined her shot up with Switzerland County holding a 2-1 lead. A make would end the game, as Milan had just one attempt left and would be two goals down.
Bruce’s shot was right on the mark, flying into the back of the net for the goal and the win as Switzerland County celebrated at midfield.
Final score: Switzerland County 4, Milan 2.
That set up Switzerland County’s sectional championship match on Saturday afternoon against Oldenburg, which defeated Rising Sun in its semifinal game by a score of 7-0.
The title match didn’t got the way the Lady Pacers would have liked, as the Lady Twisters jumped out to a 6-0 lead by the end of the first half; and then cruised in the second half for a 9-0 sectional championship.