By Kai Raymer (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Glendale and Parkview traded blows for 87 minutes, before the Falcons countered with an opportunistic knockout shot.
Or in this case, a knockout rebound.
Emma Miller capitalized on a free ball about 10 yards out for a golden goal. Her score seven minutes into overtime gave the Falcons a 2-1 win in the Class 3 District 10 championship. (VIDEO BELOW)
“I ran in on the keeper and the rebound came to me,” said Miller, a junior forward with a team-high 14 goals on the season. “I was just there to finish it, and I tapped it in right past her.”
Parkview’s goalkeeper stopped Reagan Richardson’s initial shot, but the rebound came to Miller.
“We told our kids to keep going down the flanks and driving hard balls in there,” said Glendale coach Jeff Rogers. “Reagan did that, and then Emma was in the right spot for the rebound. She put it through, top shelf.”
— Ozarks Sports Zone (@OzarksOzone) May 19, 2018
The outcome marks Glendale’s 10th district championship in girls’ soccer.
“You get into golden goal time, someone needs to be the hero,” Rogers said. “And Emma stepped up.”
The Falcons (10-9 overall) host Union (19-1 overall) in a Class 3 sectional on Tuesday, May 22. The Wildcats feature freshman Emily Gaebe, who has 57 goals on the season.
It was a gut-wrenching end for Parkview, who lost to the Falcons 5-0 in mid-April. Vikings coach Shelby Stewart said her team was missing several key, multi-sport players in that game.
“For us to come back and fight through adversity all year, I think we gave (Glendale) a run for their money,” Stewart said.
The Vikings had a go-ahead goal taken away in the 69th minute. Freshman Mikaela Wilden scored on a rebound following a shot from Olivia Wheeler, but the goal was waved off due to a prior offside call.
“It’s a heartbreaker,” Stewart said of the loss. “There was a close call with the (overruled) goal before, so (our players) only see that and think, ‘Oh, we should’ve won the game.’ You have to keep going and I don’t think they gave up the whole time. It was a great game.”
The teams combined for six yellow cards. There were also multiple stoppages for injury.
“I think (the physical play) worked to their benefit,” Rogers said. “It took us out of rhythm a little bit, but we were still able to get quality looks.”
Stewart said aggressiveness was a priority for her team.
“It’s weird because I think we’ve totaled maybe two or three (yellow cards) all year,” Stewart said. “We almost doubled if not tripled our yellow cards in this game. We were aggressive. We knew that. That was our game plan.
“They’re more soccer experienced than we are, so we had to be the aggressor.”
Glendale went ahead 1-0 in the ninth minute when senior Makaela Ingemi drove a top-shelf shot inside the near post from the right side.
Parkview scored the equalizer in the 22nd minute. Jaylynn Huddleston got a touch on a free ball inside the Glendale box following a corner kick.
“They were a really physical team and came out very aggressive,” Miller said. “We just had to keep our composure.”
Miller had multiple scoring opportunities in the game, including a breakaway in the 35th minute and a header that carried just wide in the 62nd minute.
Her persistence paid off in overtime.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a golden goal like that,” Miller said. “We normally don’t go into overtime that often. It’s hard to get the (golden) goals because everyone’s trying so hard to get them. It’s a lot of pressure in overtime.”
Parkview goalkeeper Nevaeh Mitchell tallied more than a dozen saves.
The senior-less Vikings (5-18 overall) bring back everyone for next season, including leading scorer and junior-to-be Olivia Wheeler.
“We were ready tonight. We were peaking at the end of the season,” Stewart said. “We have a lot to look forward to in the future.”
Glendale will host Union (19-1) next Tuesday, May 22.