NEW MARKET — It came down to the last swing of a right leg.
Claire Remley’s goal in the shootout phase of overtime gave Southmont’s girls soccer team a 3-2 shootout win over North Montgomery.
The win moves the Mounties to 2-2 on the season, 1-2 in the Sagamore Conference and gives them the first leg in a county championship. It also gives them two points in the Journal Review County Chase.
Remley was the last kicker for South, and the 10th of the round, as she headed for her attempt against North goalie Sydnee Turner, limping just a little bit with a sore hip.
“I was just looking for an open corner,” the senior said as she eyed the net. “I’m a little better going to the left, but I just cleared my mind and went out there with some confidence.”
The match had come down to the shootout after South scored two goals in the first half, North two in the second, and no one scored in two overtime periods.
The Chargers got goals on two of their five shootout shots, and the Mounties had two in their first four. Remley drilled her shot into the open left corner, past Turner, and the match was done with South winning the shootout 3-2, matching the final score.
“I volunteered to be last,” Remley said. “This was just an amazing win. I was so happy, and so are all my teammates. A bunch of us were crying. We played well, and we played for each other.”
The Mounties got an early and a late goal to take the 2-0 lead into halftime.
Leading scorer Lexi Odum added a pair of goals to her season total, which now stands at six.
The first goal, assisted by Marissa Craig, came with 29:17 left. Her second, assisted by Hanna Nichols, came with 5:39 remaining.
“I saw some great things, especially in the first half,” South’s first-year coach Phil Keller said. “I saw some perfect soccer on that first goal. We have worked on understanding our passing, and we showed it there. On the second goal we forced a turnover, got the ball back and got things done.”
North got two goals in the span of two minutes to tie the match.
Lydia Dugard got her fourth goal of the season with 23:25 left in regulation on an assist by Sidney Campbell. Nina Gable scored on a rebound of her own shot to tie things with 21:25 left. It is the junior’s second goal of the season.
“It took us 55 minutes to play North Montgomery soccer,” Chargers head coach Julie Hodges said. “We played 25 minutes of good soccer, and if we had played like that in the first 55, we would have shut South out and scored a couple more goals. We are just struggling to gel together. We have so much ball skill and talent offensively, but we are playing 60 percent of the game on defense. We are playing horizontally, and not vertically. We are spending too much time in the middle third of the field. We have to get the ball into the offensive third and take advantage of that skill and talent. It’s frustrating that we can’t get our offense on track yet, but once things kick in, we’ll be fine.”
Both teams had a couple opportunities, and shots on goal, in the two seven-minute overtimes, but Turner, along with South goalie Belle Miller, turned both shots away, to force the shootout.
North got shootout goals from Gable and Gracen Schwabe, while the Mounties had Elle Gray and Jordan Stanley hit the net before Remley’s game-winner. Three of the misses, two from the Chargers and one by South, hit either the upright or crossbar pipe.
“We weren’t very pumped up early for a county game,” Hodges noted. “We’ve had great practices and our defense is stepping up, but we have to get our offense into the offensive end.”
“This was my first county match,” Keller said. “Talk about intensity. It’s great to have a match like that early in the season against great competition like North Montgomery, but emotions can get the best of you,” he added, possibly referring to three yellow cards that his squad picked up. “For the shootout, I looked for the best five of the game, the ones who could make the shot count. They were the best in that situation tonight, and they came through.”
The Chargers, who fall to 1-4 overall and 0-3 in the Sagamore, travel to Monticello Thursday to take on Twin Lakes, while Southmont travels to Danville for another conference outing.