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CRESTWOOD – South Oldham goalie Mariah Willard said a quick prayer Monday and got an even quicker answer.Willard, the Lady Dragons’ goalie, blocked a penalty kick from Oldham County’s Dani Irwin to help SOHS secure a shootout win in the opening round of the district tourney.“Right before that I said a prayer,” Willard said. “I just said ‘God, please let me save one.’ I got it and just went insane inside. I’m still shaking.”Willard’s block came after OCHS’ Akeyla Ragland, Baleigh Frantz and Ashley Boyd all hit their kicks and were answered in kind by SOHS’ Dylana Nalley, Shelby Thompson and Ally Byrd. After the block, SOHS’ Emma Abney and OCHS’ Amanda Woodcock both hit their shots leaving SOHS’ Anna Brewer to hit the game-winner on a low shot to the left side.The win marked the end of a long stretch of frustrating postseason losses in shootouts for the Lady Dragons.“I can barely remember the last time we won one of these, I think it was in E-town four years ago in the sub-sectional,” SOHS coach Cy Tucker said. “The only other ones we have won were the first state championship and one other against Oldham in the district a while back.”The win raised the Lady Dragons’ record to 7-14 while ending OCHS’ season at 11-9-1 and gave the Lady Dragons wins in two of the three games against the Lady Colonels this year.The shootout came after regulation play and two overtimes along with two sudden death overtimes ended in a 2-2 tie.OCHS led 1-0 at the half after Boyd punched a shot in from right in front of the goal with 23:44 left off a deflection from Willard.SOHS tied the game with 25:58 left in the second half when Byrd hit a header in off a free kick from Katie Ferriell that looped over the heads of the OCHS defense.The Lady Dragons dominated the second half missing on several scoring opportunities.“We gave them too many chances,” OCHS coach Danny Schulz said. “This was not our best performance off the season and we told the girls if we kept giving them chances nothing good would happen.”South took the lead less than two minutes into the first overtime when sophomore Shelby Thompson got free on the right sideline and hit a rocket from 30 yards out.“I just had all this energy built up in me and I knew we had to keep pushing,” Thompson said. “I hit it pretty good and it went in.”The Lady Colonels came back to tie the game with five minutes left in the second overtime when Frantz hit a shot with plenty of backspin on it that bounced away from Willard and into the net.Neither team could score in the sudden death setting up the shootout.
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