The Shady Side Academy Bulldogs picked up the ultimate revenge over South Park as they sent the Eagles home in the Quarterfinal round of the PIAA Class 2A playoffs thanks to an overtime goal from Sadie Navid.
Having lost twice to them earlier in the season, it was never going to be easy for Shady Side, but speaking after the game head coach Mary Lynch was proud of her team in how they managed to learn from their experiences in those games and make it count when it mattered:
“We played them October 2nd, so we watched some of that game film and talked about how far we’ve come in a month and a half, continuing to build on our possession, but to take advantage of scoring opportunities because that was something that we didn’t do in our second game against them.”
The pride also extends to their mental capabilities as well, as having given up a late equalizer in normal time, they needed to quickly reset before extra time began:
“It’s tough giving up a goal right before the end of the game, but we just talked about staying together, staying focused, fighting back. And they certainly came out at the beginning of the overtime period and did that. And the goal was one senior to another which was really special.”
How it happened
Given how tight the two games were earlier in the season, with South Park picking up 1-0 wins on both occasions, it was no surprise to see both sides evenly matched in the opening exchanges. But it was the Bulldogs who took the lead through Cooper Danforth, tapping home at the back post from Caroline Liptak’s corner.
They took that momentum and pushed hard for a second, but it was South Park who came closest to finding the back of the net, as Ella Voyten managed to get her head on a free kick, but it went inches wide of Maria Ravotti’s goal.
The second half played out much like the first, with neither side really dominating the other, but South Park were presented with a golden opportunity to bring things level, Addison Kerr collecting the ball inside the box but managing to blaze the ball wide from inside the 6-yard box.
As the second half approached the midway point though, it was Shady Side who began to push on with a couple of decent chances to extend their lead, none better than Sarah Kushnir blazing over with the goal at her mercy after Cardillo had saved Van Norman’s initial effort, but couldn’t convert any of them which paved the way for a tense finish.
Shady Side were made to pay for those missed chances at the end though, as with less than five minutes remaining, Alicia Riberich was sprung on a breakaway and after battling with goalkeeper Maria Ravotti for a loose ball, rolled the ball into an empty net to force extra time.
It didn’t take long though for the game to be decided, with the first corner of golden goal, Sadie Navid’s header took a wicked deflection off Brooke Paylo and into goal to end the game and send the Bulldogs through.
13 – Cooper Danforth opens the scoring with a tap-in at the back post
15 – Sarah Kushnir forces a good 1v1 save from Gianna Cardillo
24 – Caroline Liptak’s free kick sails just over the bar
36 – Ella Voyten’s header flashes wide of the goal
37 – Helena Khalil’s powerful header from Lucille McCargo’s corner goes over the bar
44 – Sadie Navid’s cross nearly catches out Gianna Cardillo at the near post
51 – Addison Kerr misses a great chance to bring things level, but fires wide from four yards out
56 – Ella Van Norman’s cross-come-shot flashes across the box and nearly squeezes into the far corner
59 – Sarah Kushnir stings the gloves of Gianna Cordillo with a tough shot from inside the area
72 – Sarah Kushnir misses an open goal to put the game away from ten yards out
76 – Alicia Riberich breaks free of the Shady Side backline and brings the scores level
78 – Sarah Kushnir comes close with an effort at the death
82 – Sadie Navid’s header deflects off Brooke Paylo and into the net to give the Bulldogs the win