For the better part of 40 minutes of regulation play Thursday, SM East’s girls soccer team had SM West on its heels. Trouble was, as much time as the Lancer spent dribbling near the SM West goal, they couldn’t get a clear shot at the net.
Coach Jamie Kelly on this year’s seniors
Click the arrow below to hear Kelly discuss the contributions of the 2014 senior players.
So when junior Emma Braasch finally a clear shot at the goal as the second half wound down and the ball headed straight toward SM West’s goalie, she was furious at herself.
“I was really upset about that,” she said. “It made me fired up to get one.”
Nearly 20 minutes of overtime play later, Braasch was able to redeem herself in dramatic fashion to secure a 1-0 win for the Lancers on their Senior Night. With just 1:18 left before the game would have ended in a 0-0 tie, a cross pass found Braasch open a few yards in front of the net. She took a moment to control the ball and then punched it in for the night’s only score.
“I know she was kicking herself [about the missed shot]. She wasn’t going to miss that one,” said coach Jamie Kelly after the game. “We do a lot of conditioning, and I think it really showed. I think their legs got a little heavy towards the end, and we still looked pretty fresh and were able to put a lot of pressure on them.”
The win improves the Lancers to 8-3-1 on the season, and keeps them atop the Sunflower League as they enter the final four games of regular season play. And it gave the team plenty to celebrate as they honored outgoing seniors with a Senior Night ceremony after the game.
“Every single senior out there played their absolute heart out,” Kelly said. “It’s a great team effort and we do a great job of playing team soccer right now. It showed on the scoreboard tonight.”