CLASS A/AA STATE SEMIFINALS
CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN ACADEMY 0,
NOTRE DAME 0 (CPA advances 5-4 on PKs)
Penalty-kick scores: Madi Andres, Mary Morgan Smith, Michaela Lee, Abi Kania, Megan Roach (CPA); Ashley Henry, Liz Kidwell, Lacey Mahoney, Laura Champion (ND). Shots on goal: Notre Dame, 10-2. Saves: Meredith Roman 7 (CPA); Grace Courter 1 (ND). Records: CPA 12-7-4; Notre Dame 8-12-2.
Christ Presbyterian Academy coach Brandy Gagliano knows all too well the feeling that the Notre Dame soccer team is feeling this morning. It was the same feeling of heartbreak that her Lady Lions experienced just a year ago.
Notre Dame controlled their Class A/AA semifinal matchup against CPA on Thursday, but it went into penalty kicks, and a missed shot attempt and a Meredith Roman save punched the Lady Lions' ticket into Saturday's final with a 5-4 shootout victory over the Lady Irish at Chattanooga Christian. The match was scoreless in regulation.
CPA (12-7-4) and will face Christian Academy of Knoxville -- a 3-0 victor over Chattanooga Christian in the other semifinal -- Saturday at 11 a.m. at GPS, while Notre Dame's season ends at 8-12-2. The Lady Lions fell 2-1 to the Lady Irish a season ago in the semifinals on an Erin Freeman goal in the 109th minute.
Three of Notre Dame's seven matches in the 2011 postseason went into shootouts and four into overtime. Two others were settled by 1-0 counts.
"When we looked at the draw and realized that we could face Notre Dame in the semifinals, we were focused on that being a big payback game," Gagliano said. "We lost 10 seniors from that team, so to a lot of people we weren't supposed to be here.
"We've been here before and knew it was going to be a battle. We figured it would be equal and go one goal either way."
In the shootout, both teams connected on their first four tries, but then after a Lindsay Curtis attempt missed to the right, Gaby Gurrola approaced with a chance to win the match. Her shot sailed to the left, and then after Megan Roach made her shot on CPA's sixth attempt, Sophie Mullin's shot was saved by Roman -- one of three starters returning from last season's team.
"I knew that if we got to penalty kicks, I had confidence in my shooters that we were going to get the job done," Roman said.
Note Dame had its share of opportunities in regulation. Lacey Mahoney had a shot that glanced off the side post in the first half. Mullin and Blair Barker had opportunities fall short in the second half.
CPA's best opportunity came after Liz Kidwell fouled Madi Andres short of the box. The ensuing free kick was headed out of bounds by a CPA player.
"I felt like most of the match went our way," Notre Dame coach Jim Schermerhorn said. "I felt good going into overtime, and into the penalty kicks. We had our chances.
"There's really no words to tell the girls right now. I'm struggling because I don't know if there's anything I could say to them that will mean anything."