After 120 scoreless minutes, four overtimes, and seven rounds of penalty kicks, the Bishop Carroll girls soccer team emerged victorious in the Class 5A semifinals at Hummer Sports Park in Topeka late Friday evening.
It was senior Landon Forbes, the All-Metro basketball player from the winter, who stepped up on penalty kick No. 7 and provided the winning kick, slotting it to the left just past the reach of the goalkeeper for a 1-0 victory over St. James Academy.
The Golden Eagles improved to 19-1 on the season and will face St. Thomas Aquinas (17-2-1) in the 5A championship match at 2 p.m. Saturday.
“We knew from basketball season, Landon was clutch,” Carroll coach Greg Rauch said. “I just said, ‘All right, who’s ready? Who wants this?’ And she immediately said, ‘I want it.’ I had zero hesitation.”
Despite the scoreless regulation and overtime periods, Carroll and St. James played a mostly entertaining match that featured solid chances on both sides for the breakthrough goal.
Rauch said he was inspired by his team’s ability to fight through adversity.
“We showed so much grit and determination,” Rauch said. “I know it’s cliche, but the reality is that they dug down when there was seemingly nothing left. We had people cramping up on the sidelines, then begging me to put them back in. That’s what legends are made of from these kids. I’ve been in plenty of situations where it’s easy to call it and say, ‘I’m done expending myself.’ But these kids never got there.”
Both teams made five of their first six shots in the penalty-kick round, as senior Grace Long, junior Brecken Hoy, freshman Liza Dugan, freshman Itzelle Lumbreras and senior Autumn Trail converted for Carroll.
Momentum swung in Carroll’s direction when goalkeeper Leah Littlejohn, a junior, made the save to start the seventh round. That set up Forbes to deliver the game-winner.
Carroll will be seeking its first state championship against the two-time defending champions in Aquinas, which has 18 state titles in its collection. The Saints won 4-0 over Maize South, ending the Mavericks’ undefeated season in the other semifinal played on Friday.
Trinity Academy wins penalty-kick shootout to advance to 4-1A title game
Trinity Academy rallied from a deficit to win in penalty kicks to advance to the Class 4-1A state championship match with a 2-1 victory over Baldwin on Friday.
The Knights (11-8) will face Bishop Miege (13-7) for the 4-1A title in Saturday’s 2 p.m. final at De Soto Soccer Complex.
In Friday’s game, Baldwin actually struck first with a 25-yard free kick scored in the 17th minute of the game. Trinity found the equalizer in the second half and the game went to overtime.
After four scoreless overtime periods, the game was sent to sudden-death penalty kicks and Trinity emerged victorious with a 3-0 advantage.
Trinity is the only Wichita-area girls soccer program with a state championship coming in 2014. Miege will be looking for its seventh straight title in 4-1A.