L-S Ousts Lexington on Penalty Kicks
Minutemen edged out of North D-1 sectional after close-fought game.
The Nos. 11 and 22 attached to the Lexington High School and Lincoln-Sudbury High School meant little to either team entering their MIAA North Division 1 Preliminary Round matchup on Saturday afternoon.
With the Minutemen from the always tough Middlesex League and the Warriors coming out of the ultra-competitive Dual County League, both teams knew it was going to be close against the other. And the parity played out on the field, as Lincoln-Sudbury pulled out the victory with a 4-2 advantage on penalty kicks.
The sides played to a scoreless tie through 80 minutes of regulation and 20 minutes of two overtime periods, before moving on to five-aside penalty kicks. It's not the way either wanted their season to end or continue, but the game had to be decided either way.
"I told the girls before we started PKs, it's [bad] to end a game on PKs," said Lincoln-Sudbury coach Kate Berry, whose team moves on to face No. 6 Concord-Carlisle High School in the First Round on Monday. "One of the parents emailed me when the seedings came out and said, 'I bet Lexington's not happy about seeing us as a 22 seed.'"
It was even harder to take for the Minutemen (10-6-3), who lost for just the second time since the start of October.
"It is what it is, you have to play by the rules," coach Frank Pagliuca said. "If you win, it's great, but if you lose it's unfortunate, obviously. It's like that in any situation, but especially when it comes down to PKs it's unfortunate."
Both teams had chances in the overtime periods. The Warriors (7-6-4) had two in a span of less than two minutes in the second OT. Junior Madison Acton first sent a hard shot wide of the net, and 1 minute, 36 seconds later a soft header floated over the crossbar.
Lexington junior captain Nandi Mehta sent a direct free kick high with three minutes left in the second overtime, then had a nice steal but sent a hard shot directly at L-S goalkeeper sophomore goalkeeper Katie Sia with 40 seconds remaining.
"We played a good game and they played a good game," Pagliuca said of the missed chances. "It was pretty even back and forth."
Lincoln-Sudbury went first for the penalty kicks, but Lexington junior goalie Catherine Costello denied senior Cassie Bursma with a nice diving save to her right. It was still knotted at 0-apiece after Mehta couldn't sneak her shot past Sia.
Finally, a ball reached the back of the net when Acton opened the next round with a goal. Lexington answered right back with a score from junior captain Emily Foley. The teams again traded conversions in the third round of PKs, thanks to goals from freshman Kate Spiegel of L-S and Corinne Counsell of Lexington.
Not until the fourth round did the Warriors take over for good. Jinah Oh converted her try and Sia stopped Annelise Driscoll's attempt.
Senior captain Eliza Sefton won it for the Warriors with a low, skipping kick that beat Costello to her right.
"I'm just proud of the way they played. It was a hell of a game on both sides," Berry said.
The Warriors and Patriots, familiar foes from the DCL, will kick off the First Round at 3:30 p.m. at CCHS.