SULLIVAN — South Knox’s girls took the field for the second time in their Class A Sullivan Sectional on Thursday. And for the second time, the Spartans went to penalty kicks.
Keeper Ellie Fausnaugh notched three saves in the shootout, and Grayson Keller provided the winning kick as South Knox squeaked by Washington Catholic, 3-1, in a PK shootout.
On Tuesday, the Spartans (9-10) eked past the host Golden Arrows, 2-1, in PKs.
“We like to do things the hard way, apparently,” South Knox coach Travis Herb joked. “But this is the fifth time we’ve come from behind to win this season, and we’ve never done that before. This team doesn’t quit. They keep coming. I just told them, they’re tough as nails. I couldn’t be happier about their performance and how they keep playing when they’re down.”
The Cardinals opened the scoring late in the first half with a tally in the 37th minute. Despite being down, 1-0, at the half, South Knox didn’t take too long to respond, as Sydney Riker scored on a Jordyn Derouin assist in the 47th minute. The match stayed knotted the rest of the way, though each team had chances. The Spartans best opportunity came in the second extra period, when the ball landed in a scrum inside the Washington Catholic box. The keeper came off her line, but South Knox failed to get a clean look at the empty net.
In penalty kicks, Emily Neighbor tallied first for the Cardinals, and Derouin followed suit. Fausnaugh turned aside Washington Catholic’s next attempt, and Reagan Nowaskie made it 2-1. Fausnaugh didn’t have to move to stop the third Cardinals’ try, but Riker was also denied to keep it a one-goal margin. Fausnaugh made a third straight save in round four, and Keller was true on the ensuing kick to wrap it up.
Herb said Tuesday’s PK experience was a factor.
“I like to think that it does. We spend time working on that, and we know who our top five are,” he said. “I’m not worried about any of them. Ellie had played zero soccer before this season, but we noticed day two that she had instincts (in goal) like nobody’s business. I don’t worry about her at all either. She’s more worried than anybody, but she stops them every time.”
South Knox moves on to the championship at 7 p.m. Saturday. No. 11 Rivet will likely be the opponent, as the Patriots played Bloomfield in the second semifinal late Thursday. Rivet handled the Cardinals, 10-0, last Saturday.
Lady Hatchets blank
Alices in semifinal
JASPER — The Lincoln girls soccer team’s attempt to reverse a 5-2 regular-season defeat to Washington at the Class 2A Jasper Sectional semifinal Thursday proved to be too tough to accomplish.
Peyton Summers scored in each half, and the Lady Hatchets tallied twice in the first five minutes in a 5-0 semifinal victory.
The Alices (7-8) struggled to mount any offensive attack against Washington (8-10), with the ball on Lincoln’s end almost throughout to put stress on keeper Madalynn Grube.
“We tend to come out flat and that’s how things get away from us,” Alices coach Kellie Cargal said. “We were having a tough time maintaining possession on our attack and putting together good passes. Then it becomes too big a hole to get out of.”
Alexus Arvin and Mia Cory fired shots on goal for the Alices in the second half, but were turned away.
Summers tallied in the third minute and Haley Osmon followed in the fifth minute for a 2-0 advantage. Chloe Browning hit the net in the 26th minute to give Washington a 3-0 halftime lead. Emma Dent converted in the 43rd minute and Summers concluded the scoring in the 51st minute.
It was the final match for seniors Cory, Karlie Myers and Victoria Jackson.
“We’re improving every year,” said Cargal, whose win total has jumped from three to six to seven in her three seasons. “We have some talent and we’re getting there. We have some eighth graders who we feel can help us next year.”
The Hatchets play the Princeton-Jasper semifinal winner in Saturday’s 7 p.m. championship match.