Lady Cavs win shootout to advance

Published 10:24 pm Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It took more than 100 minutes on the field Tuesday evening, but the No. 3 Lakeland High School girls’ soccer team finally defeated No. 6 Heritage High School by shootout in the opening round of the conference tournament at Christopher Newport University.

Lady Cavaliers head coach Matt Crowder was pleased with his team’s performance early on, but the Lady Hurricanes converted a goal first. He noted his players were not able to score despite their opportunities, because they were shooting too high against a tall goalkeeper.

While he gave Heritage praise for its play in the second half, it could not keep Lakeland freshman Haley Beale from putting in the tying goal.

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Then, with about six minutes remaining in regulation, the Lady Hurricanes received a penalty kick on a Lakeland foul.

“They took the PK, and our goalie, Erin (Bradshaw), saved it, and then we went into double overtime, and then we went into sudden death overtime, and then we ended with PKs,” Crowder said.

For the double overtime portion of extra play, the teams played for five minutes, then switched sides of the field and played for five more. In sudden death, they also played for two scoreless five-minute periods.

Before the shootout that followed, Crowder communicated to his players the same message from his halftime speech.

“They had to shoot low,” he said.

The Lady Cavaliers did, and goals from junior Julianna Durand, junior Lindsay Bagley and sophomore Jennifer Rockwell gave Lakeland a final 3-1 edge in the shootout.

Crowder put a spotlight on goalkeeper Erin Bradshaw, a junior, who was clutch again during the shootout.

“She had ‘em pegged,” he said.

No. 3 Lakeland (4-11-1) advances to face No. 2 King’s Fork High School (10-3-1) today, with a start time scheduled for 7:15 p.m. at CNU.

“In my opinion, I think they’re the No. 1 team in our district,” Crowder said of the Lady Bulldogs. “It’s going to be a tough game, but the girls are motivated and ready to work hard, and I guess we’ll see what happens.”

He hailed his team for turning things around late in the season, even though it now features four freshman starters, including two who have never played soccer before.