GLEN ROCK — The previous two meetings this season had gone to overtime, so it made sense that this one would, too.
When it was over, Northeastern had survived for a victory in penalty kicks (4-1) over host Susquehannock in a first-round District 3 Class 3-A girls' soccer match on Monday, Oct. 23.
The victory sends the Bobcats to the quarterfinals on Thursday, Oct. 26, when they’ll face No. 1 seed Fleetwood, which routed No. 16 Cocalico on Thursday, 4-0. The site and time for Thursday's game have yet to be determined.
When Northeastern’s Camryn Kurilla scored on a penalty kick resulting from a handball inside the 18 just a minute into the second half to tie the score, one had a feeling this one might not end for a while, and it didn’t. The contest eventually concluded at 10 p.m.
“We played a lot of ties and the two previous matches with Susquehannock had gone to OT, so we’ve been working on them,” Northeastern coach Diana Collier said of the penalty kicks. “We know in the postseason it’s likely you’ll have games such as this, and we were confident.”
None more so than Bobcats’ goalie senior Rachel Reeser, who stopped two out of three shots in the penalty-kick period, including a line drive off the foot of Maddy Yoakum that preserved a 3-1 advantage for Northeastern. Seconds later, Kurilla closed the match out with a penalty kick that gave the Bobcats an insurmountable 4-1 advantage.
“Penalty kicks are so nerve-wracking that I don’t feel anything,” Reeser said. “I just tell myself I have to do it and try to get in a zone.”
Susquehannock, which was on the short end of 1-0 and 2-1 scores to the Bobcats this season, took a 1-0 lead with 2:01 remaining in the first half on a goal by Taylor Tanners. Carly Attig registered an assist on the goal, but that’s all the Warriors could muster in regulation.
“It’s very disappointing,” Warriors’ coach Pat Brubaker said. “But you have to give them credit. They’re fast, play good defense and their goalie came up big in the penalty kicks.”
Northeastern’s Amanda Bentz, who missed much of the game with a knee injury, gave the Bobcats a 1-0 start in penalty kicks. After Reeser stopped the Warriors’ first shot, Chaney Golden made it 2-0 for Northeastern.
Susquehannock’s Emma Lonas made it 2-1 before Celeste Workman made it 3-1 Northeastern. After Reeser’s stop on Yoakum, Kurilla cinched it for the Bobcats third win of the season over Susquehannock.
Reach George Hammond at email@example.com.