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CRESTWOOD – Oldham County’s Haley Kemper didn’t think the goal counted, at first.
“I thought the time had ran out and I didn’t think they were going to call it,” Kemper said. “Then everybody started screaming.”
South Oldham girls soccer coach Cy Tucker doesn’t think the goal should’ve counted.
“I saw the clock expire before the ball went over the line,” he said.
Regardless of what Kemper, Tucker or anyone else saw, the referee said Kemper’s last-second extra-time goal off a corner kick did count, giving the Oldham (5-0) a 1-0 district win on the road at South (2-2).
The match that went scoreless for eighty minutes of regulation and nearly five minutes of extra time was decided in the very last second.
The Lady Colonels were awarded a corner kick as the final seconds ticked down.
Per the golden goal rules under which the extra time was played, Oldham could clinch the win if it put the ball in the net before the clock struck zero. Bethany Massey, the junior who sent in the winning assist, was in a hurry to get the kick off.
“It was just awesome,” Massey said. “I don’t know, I put the ball down really quick and I kicked it and I knew it was going in because I knew we could finish.”
On the end of the kick was Kemper, a senior who’d missed several chances to break the scoreless tie earlier in the game.
“Right when I saw Bethany run and get that I was sprinting to the goal and I had to make sure I was there because, knowing Bethany, I knew that she was going to get it in,” Kemper said. “I literally just saw it right in front of me. It was a perfect ball.”
Kemper used her left foot to sneak the ball by South goalie Maggie Malueg as the game ended.
“It was a perfect cross by Bethany to put it right in the middle,” Oldham coach Dan Schulz said. “I’m not really sure how the ball got down and settled where it did.
“I think Haley was even surprised to look and see the ball and nobody around her… What a way for the game to end. I hate that it ended on something that close to the buzzer but I’m glad it came out in our favor.”
Oldham took the early driver’s seat in the district race with the win. The Lady Colonels can clinch a district regular season title with a win over North Oldham Sept. 16.
South, meanwhile, will need some help if it’s to avoid playing in a 2 vs. 3 postseason district match.
“It was going to be disappointing if we didn’t win, no matter how,” Tucker said. “I couldn’t have been prouder of the way they played. I think that was a hallmark effort on our part. We don’t walk away feeling we were the lesser team by any means.”
Oldham doesn’t play again until a date with Western Hills Wednesday. South will travel to Bardstown this Saturday.