Chesterton Tribune

CHS Girls Soccer team works overtime to get Regional title

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By TR HARLAN

All it took was an opportunity, the calming of nerves and the same shot you've always hit.

That was the formula for Shauna Foor and the Chesterton girls soccer team as they picked up a shootout victory over Valparaiso in the Portage Regional Wednesday night.

Chesterton will face off against Lake Central at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Valparaiso in the IHSAA Semistate.

"I'm overcome by emotion and just very excited," Chesterton coach Kim Poppo said. "You hate for any team to lose that way. Valpo really came out strong and played their hearts out."

After the first five rounds of shootout ended tied at three, Valparaiso's Stephanie Fisher fired a shot off the post to put the title on Foor's foot.

The junior forward calmly tucked the ball inside the left post for the game-winner.

"I tried to stay as calm as I could and block out the audience and everything going on," Foor said. "I wanted to envision the left spot on the ground. I kick it in the same spot every time."

"Shauna is so consistent in practice," Poppo said. "We told her just to stick with her normal routine. We thought about putting her in the top five and didn't, but she came through for us."

"I kind of wished I was out there for the first five, but when it was time to go, you just had to concentrate and hit your shot," Foor said.

Valparaiso scored the only goal of the first half when Fisher sent a ball in front of the goal off a restart from 45 yards out that found the foot of Kate Johnson.

Chesterton evened the score at the 25:29 mark of the second half when Annie Thieling's corner kick found the head of Kate McCusker.

"They had two people on Kate the whole game," Poppo said. "I think she got frustrated sometimes, but she played hard and kept on battling."

Valparaiso took the lead with 16:45 to play when Johnson took a pass from Anneliese Trapp and put it inside the left post for a 2-1 lead.

Catherine Pannekoek tied the score with her left foot after carrying the ball down the sideline and putting the ball into the upper left 90 past Valpo goalkeeper Sarah Fisher.

"Catherine is such a sparkplug out there," Poppo said. "She really turned up her energy tonight when we needed it."

The Trojans had two chances to win the game in regulation when Pannekoek hit the post with 7:02 to play. Ashton Balch also missed just high with 1:07 to play.

"Kate, Catherine, Ashton (Balch) and Shauna work so well together up top," Poppo said. "We' ve really been working on them playing the ball off of each other, so that if teams do double Kate somebody' s there."

The Vikings took the lead with 3:25 to play in the first overtime when Trapp got behind Chesterton goalkeeper Megan Behrendt and fired a shot toward the net. Trojan senior Paige Kadish was in the way and got called for a handball that gave Valpo a penalty kick and Kadish a red card.

"By the rule book it is a red card," Poppo said. "It wasn't an intentional hand ball. She was protecting herself. By the rule book it' s correct, but not one you' re happy with."

Kacie Marshall put the penalty kick in for a 3-2 Valpo lead.

"With 10 minutes left in overtime, to be down a goal and a player and come back to win is incredible," Poppo said. "We played with a lot of heart those last 10 minutes."

At the 6:12 mark of the second overtime, McCusker carried the ball down the right sideline and crossed the ball to Pannekoek for the game-tying goal.

"Kate and I play really well together," Pannekoek said. "We know where the other one is going to be. We' ve been in this position before. We knew we could beat Valpo."

In the shootout, the Trojans got goals by Lauren Seawright, Pannekoek and McCusker to force the sudden death.

Chesterton 3, Valparaiso 3

(Chesterton wins 4-3 on penalty kicks)

AT PORTAGE

Valparaiso -- Kate Johnson 2 goals; Kacie Marshal 1 assist; Stephanie Fisher 2 assists; Sarah Fisher 6 saves.

Chesterton -- Catherine Pannekoek 2 goals; Kate McCusker 1 goal; Annie Thieling 1 assist; Megan Behrendt 5 saves.

Records -- Chesterton 13-6, Valparaiso 7-10-1.

 

 

Posted 10/23/2008