Lady Chiefs win it all!
Friday night’s all-Fayette girls soccer final was one for the ages.
With a 1-1 tie through regulation and past two overtimes, McIntosh won the AAAA title on penalty kicks.
But that’s no knock on Whitewater, which kept the game close until the bitter end.
Early on, there were plenty of stellar defensive plays on both sides, giving fans much to cheer about.
Host team McIntosh broke the 0-0 tie with a penalty kick goal from Laura Higgason with just under 8 minutes left in the first half. It sent the home crowd into a frenzy.
It didn’t take long for Whitewater to respond, though, as Jenni Loveless scored off a corner kick play to knot the score at one less than four minutes later. The Whitewater stands erupted with joy.
From then on it was a defensive battle as both teams fought to gain offensive momentum.
The game featured a few stellar saves by both goalkeepers. But it was the defense of both teams that kept the other in check, with precious few scoring opportunities.
After the game remained tied following regulation play and two 10-minute overtime periods, the game went to penalty kicks, as both squads traded blows.
In the end, the title was sealed by a penalty kick save by McIntosh goalie Kaitlin Deitrick, setting off a celebration that ended with trophy poses and the home crowd storming the field.
The game not only crowned the AAAA state champion but also settled a score between Whitewater and McIntosh. The two teams had played to a 1-1 tie during the season.
This is the seventh state title for the McIntosh girls soccer program, and the third championship under the direction of Head Coach Marcia Clark.
Clark said after the game that Whitewater was a very worthy opponent.She also was very proud of the way the Lady Chiefs never gave up.
“Whitewater is a tough team no doubt, but under the pressure we didn’t collapse,” Clark said, noting that the entire team kept working and doing what they were supposed to do.
“I just feel like everybody did their work today. The girls came out strong, wanted it and they took it, and I couldn’t be prouder of them,” Clark said.
As for Whitewater and the close nature of the game, Clark said the Lady Chiefs felt honored to have faced them, even if the win was settled on penalty kicks.
“They’re a great team. We respect them tremendously,” Clark said.