The Effingham County Lady Rebels soccer team pushed the best Region 3-AAAA South has to offer to the brink and then some.
The Glynn Academy Lady Red Terrors finally prevailed on the eighth penalty kick, beating the Lady Rebels 2-1 Tuesday in their home finale at Rebel Field.
“Effingham outplayed us for a lot of the second half,” Glynn coach Gary Larkins said. “It’s a tough loss for them and a good win for us.”
The two teams battled to a 1-1 draw through 80 minutes of regulation and were tied 4-4 in penalty kicks after the first round. Shooters from each team missed on the first two extra attempts and after Lady Red Terror keeper Barakah Jamieson stopped Ashley Kohler, Katie Knox put one in the right corner past keeper Kristin Burgstiner for the win.
“Unless the ball is going right to the keeper, you can’t think about it in that position,” Lady Rebels coach Tesh Wiewel said. “You just have to shoot it. With some of our girls, they just thought too much (about their shot).”
Effingham trailed late in the second half until Korie VanCuren blasted a direct kick from 28 yards out over Jamieson’s outstretched hands with 12:05 to go in regulation.
VanCuren’s goal came a minute after Burgstiner beat Knox to a long through ball in the box. With 3:33 to play, Burgstiner made a stop on Stephanie Kaiser’s shot from a sharp angle.
Shelly Ramsey, getting possession of the ball in the re-sodded area of the field, couldn’t get off a clean shot from the dirt with less than two minutes to play and Kayla English blocked Tyler Hawkins’ try from 15 yards out.
In the final seconds of the first overtime, she grabbed a chip from Kaiser to preserve the tie.
“They really played hard the whole game,” Wiewel said of her team. “We only had three subs in in the first half, so they played really hard. That second half was probably the hardest they have played all year.”
Glynn grabbed the lead midway through the first half on a rather fluke goal as Hawkins lobbed a shot on a half-volley that ballooned over Burgstiner and landed in the net.
To Wiewel, it was a goal that could have been averted.
“We weren’t marking (her) on the goal,” she said.
With the win, the Lady Red Terrors improved to 11-3-1 overall and 7-1 in the region. They host Statesboro today in the region tournament.
The Lady Rebels (2-6 in the region) also moved on to the region tournament, in spite of the loss, unbeknownst to them at the end of the game. Effingham will travel to No. 5-ranked Greenbrier today.
“I told them before the game that to even have a chance, they had to win and win big,” Wiewel said. “But if this was the last game, it was a good game to end on.”