By David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal
PONTOTOC – It came down to one kick on Tuesday for Pontotoc’s Lady Warriors.
Only problem, it was Germantown taking the kick.
After battling to a 1-1 tie through regulation, overtime, and sudden death periods, the Lady Warriors lost in heartbreaking fashion 5-3 on penalty kicks in the first round of the Class 4A state soccer playoffs.
“I didn’t create the rules of soccer, but you have to take it and roll with it,” Pontotoc girls coach Ashley Thompson said. “By the time this game ended, we had nothing left to give.”
In a matchup that exceeded the normal first round quality of play, Pontotoc (16-6) needed a last-minute goal in regulation just to extend the match. On an indirect kick from just outside the box, Pontotoc sophomore Shelbi Drope kept her effort low and left, avoiding the Germantown wall to tie the contest at 1-1.
The Lady Warriors had their share of chances in the two 10-minute overtimes, with Drope hustling for quality shots in each period. Then in the first of two five minute sudden deaths, senior Carly Naugher rattled the crossbar with a potential game-winner.
Moving to the penalty kicks, Germantown (10-9-2) went first, making their first three, while Pontotoc converted its first two. Germantown goalie Peyton Puckett then knocked away Pontotoc’s third kick with a full-extension save.
Both teams converted their fourth kicks to make the score 4-3, then Germantown’s Ross Black calmly deposited the fifth kick in the upper right of the net to end it.
Germantown really pressed well on offense in the first half, scoring at the 18:20 mark on a rebound after Pontotoc goalie Emily Munn had saved two hammered shots.
(B) Pontotoc 4, Kosciusko 0: The Warriors were clicking on all phases of the game in the first half, scoring on goals by Victor Castanedo and Freddy Gutierra, and an own goal by Kosciusko. Diego Pizarro added a second-half goal.
Pontotoc advances to play Lewisburg, a 3-2 winner over New Albany on Tuesday.