It’s not common to feel like your back is against the wall when holding a two-goal lead in soccer.
But if that’s the feeling that crept through the back of the minds of Bishop Miege throughout the second half of a 4-3-2-1A girls’ soccer semifinal at Friends University on Friday evening.
Maize South was the reason for that feeling, and although the Mavericks charged back to force overtime, it was the Stags that netted the golden goal to move on to Saturday’s final with a 3-2 victory.
“When you have a team full of seniors like that, they’re going to have a no-quit attitude,” Miege coach Nate Huppe said of Maize South. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get one ball cleared, and they scored with 37 seconds left.”
Despite all that second-half pressure, Miege (12-7-1) still held a 2-1 lead as it made it inside a minute to go. Maize South (17-2-1) was pushing the action, but it appeared they wouldn’t be able to crack the final line of defense of the defending state champs.
With one final push though, the Mavericks brought the ball up the field and pushed it inside the box, where junior Madison Edwards was waiting to nudge off a defender and slide a ball past a diving keeper with 37 ticks left.
The Stags, who have been to overtime in each of their four straight semifinal games, had an answer though. Two minutes into extra time, Sophia Stram jetted down the left flank, cut in toward the box and forced a short cross through the Maize South keeper and to a waiting Elizabeth MacDonald, who poked the ball high into the net with 8:05 showing on the clock.
“I’m very proud of our team,” Maize South coach Marlon Rios said. “We played very differently in the second half. We were more aggressive and that’s how we were able to come back and tie it. Unfortunately, it ended up with Bishop Miege winning the game, but they’re a hard-working team, and sometimes in soccer, that’s the way it is.”