After the two Southern Maryland Athletic Conference teams played to a scoreless deadlock through the first 75 minutes of play on Monday evening, the Patuxent High School girls soccer team edged host McDonough, 2-1 as Sophia Estrada in the waning seconds of the first sudden-death overtime.
With less than five minutes left in the extra session, Estrada sent one kick wide left of the target. Then on what would be the final shot of the night, she turned and fired shot from the right side that caromed off a McDonough defender and slipped past Rams goalkeeper Marisa Gibbs into the net for the game-winner.
“It was great to be able to beat them,” Estrada said. “They beat us 8-1 last year, so we wanted to come in here and prove that we could play with them.”
Patuxent freshman forward Taisiya Reid gave the Rams plenty of trouble throughout the contest with her quickness and dribbling skills. With less than five minutes remaining, Reid was tackled in the box and the Panthers were awarded a penalty kick. Madison Tompkins delivered on the penalty kick, drilling a shot into the lower left corner of the net.
“It was scary,” Tompkins said of the penalty-kick situation. “I was just trying to trick their goalie. I knew when I kicked it that it was going in.”
But on the ensuing possession, McDonough was awarded a penalty kick when freshman Emily Farren was tackled from behind and junior Kori Sheckells promptly drilled the ball into the upper right hand corner of the net, just over the outstretched arms of Patuxent goalkeeper Kristen Thompson. Early in the first overtime, Thompson deflected a high shot from Sheckells just over the crossbar to keep the game tied.
“I was pretty confident that I could make it,” Sheckells said. “I usually aim for the upper right corner or upper left corner and I kicked that one toward the right corner. As soon as I hit it, I knew it was going in.”
Through the first 75 minutes of play, however, Thompson (16 saves in the contest) and Gibbs (9 saves) were the main forces. Patuxent had controlled play in the first half, with Gibbs making a handful of saves to keep the game scoreless. But the Rams controlled play in the second half and Farren had several genuine scoring chances that Thompson either smothered or deflected away.
“Kristen made some great saves tonight,” Aris said. “That was probably the best game she’s played all season. It was a very good game against a really good McDonough team.”
Sheckells scored the Rams’ only goal on a penalty kick roughly 30 seconds after Tompkins had given the Panthers a 1-0 lead with a penalty kick that beat Gibbs. Sheckells and teammates Ava Lyddanne and Iris Golden then both forced Thompson to make tough saves in the early stages of the overtime.
McDonough cruised to the Class 1A South Region title the previous two seasons with a genuinely veteran squad, including a lineup last fall that featured 10 senior starters with Gibbs in the net. This year, Gibbs is the only senior on a youthful Rams squad that has ample talent but is still short on experience, something that is changing rapidly through the fall campaign.
“Our girls played hard,” McDonough head coach Dave Bradshaw said. “They’re young and most of them have never played at the varsity level before this season. We had some really good scoring chances, but their goalie made some really tough saves. Sometimes, that’s just the way the ball bounces. But it was a very good game against a really good team and I’m proud of the way my girls played.”
McDonough is scheduled to host Westlake at 7 p.m. Thursday, while Patuxent is slated to be at Leonardtown at 6 p.m. Thursday.