LINCOLN — A capital classic with rankings implications.
Top of the rankings that is.
Class A No. 3 Lincoln Southwest steadied itself after conceding a late equalizer, then got a pair of stops in the shootout to knock off top-ranked Lincoln East 2-1 Wednesday night.
The Silver Hawks (8-0) won 6-5 in penalties, finally putting the match away on Kynlie Simpson’s conversion in the eighth round.
“One of the things we continue to talk about is ‘effort over everything,’ ” Southwest coach Thomas Nettleton said. “You just step into the moment and don’t worry about anything but doing your very best. This team is doing just a tremendous job of leading with their character.”
His team got on the board first when Ava Spinar scored in the 16th minute, getting on a ball from Kennedi Williams in the penalty area and putting Southwest ahead with her second goal of the season.
“We’ve been talking about doing that but haven’t been able to capitalize,” Nettleton said. “So it was encouraging for us to connect and find the back of the net.
“I think we started very well. We certainly were connecting. We found our forwards early, which allowed us to grow into the game.”
That lead would last for more than 63 minutes, until East’s Paige Poppe cashed in a rebound with 19 seconds to play.
Southwest keeper Alex Gobel got her shot at redemption in the shootout, though, and the sophomore delivered. Gobel stopped two Spartan shots, including one in the deciding round.
“She is a talent, there’s no doubt about it,” Nettleton said. “She can get very big, and she’s long. So she was able to get a couple of balls that would have otherwise hit the back of the net.
“I think she was disappointed with how the end of the game went, so to see her step into that challenge ... it’s such a credit to her character and the character of our team to expect the best and then go out and do it.”
East was without a couple of key players, including Nebraska commit Haley Peterson.
The win is already Southwest’s third over a team ranked in the top three at the time of the match.
Lincoln East (7-1)...............0 1 0 0 0—1
Lincoln Southwest (8-0)....1 0 0 0 1—2
GOALS: LE, Paige Poppe; LSW, Ava Spinar.
LSW wins shootout 6-5.