She may have only gotten her hands on one shootout attempt Friday night, but that was enough for Kylynn Moyer and Millard North.
Moyer saved a shot in the second round and then saw the next two kicks sail high as the Class A No. 2 Mustangs eked out a 1-0 win against third-ranked Papillion-La Vista South in the semifinals of the Metro Conference girls soccer tournament.
“That’s huge,” Millard North coach John Walsh said of Moyer’s save. “It can psyche out the other team and it gave our keeper and our shooters some confidence.”
Walsh and company move into Monday’s 5 p.m. championship match against No. 1 Omaha Marian, a 2-0 winner Friday against Millard West in the other semifinal, on the Mustangs’ home field. It’s the third consecutive year the teams have played for the title, with Marian winning the previous two.
But getting to the final wasn’t easy for Millard North. Both the Mustangs and Papio South had opportunities in regulation, including one in the final minute of the second half by Millard North.
Mustang forward Rachel Brennan, a Nebraska recruit, had a one-on-one chance, but had her shot deflected by Titans keeper Gabbie Sefranek.
The shootout started with a make by each team in the first round, but it would be the only time Papio South would find the back of the net on the night.
Moyer made a stretched-out, diving save to her left after initially starting right, stopping a Kailee Hernandes shot.
The Titans’ third and fourth attempts were high, the latter clinching the victory for Millard North.
“It’s definitely a mental part of the game,” Papio South coach Melissa Ingwerson said. “It’s a mental thing. But I’m really proud of the way the girls played tonight.”
Sarah Woelfel, Sydney DeVries and Holly Hild each made their attempts in the shootout for the Mustangs.
“The girls played well,” Walsh said. “After each game, we identify things that we want to improve on, and this one will be no different.”
Papillion-La Vista South (4-2) ........................... 0 0 0 0 0—0
At Millard North (8-0) ........................... 0 0 0 0 1—1
Millard North wins shootout 3-1
Omaha Marian 2, Millard West 0
The defending champion Crusaders took a lead less than 30 seconds in and added another goal in the second half.
Jade King’s blast went off the head of a Millard West defender and in for a goal in the first minute and Margaret Begley converted on a penalty kick in the 53rd minute for top-ranked Marian (5-0).
It was the second win against the Wildcats this week after a 1-0 victory Monday.
“Probably our best game of the season,” Marian coach Ed Dudley said. “Millard West is good. I thought tonight could be a real toss-up. My kids just played super well.”
Friday’s victory was the 15th straight shutout for the Crusaders, dating to last season.
The last team to score on Marian and keeper Taylor Saucier, a Texas A&M recruit, was Millard North in last year’s Metro championship.
Millard West (5-3) ........................... 0 0—0
At Omaha Marian (5-0) ........................... 1 1—2
Goals: OM, Jade King, Margaret Begley.
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