Girls Win Shootout; Title Tilt Tonight
One hundred minutes of soccer wasn’t enough to decide the state semifinal between Norfolk Collegiate and St. John Paul The Great on Friday.
The game went to a dramatic penalty shootout and TCIS Player of the Year Cameron Brown clinched the victory after Alexis McGurn made two stellar saves.
The Oaks, now 17-0-1, earned a tough 1-1 win on penalty kicks. Brown was the fifth Oak to shoot. Earlier, Sarah Smith and Ashby Larkin coolly scored.
In regulation, Smith scored in the 25th minute on an assist from Sarah Smallets. St. John Paul evened the game 13 minutes later.
Norfolk Collegiate had a tepid first half, but dominated play in much of the second half and the two 10-minute overtimes. The team had several good chances and also suffered from some horrible offsides calls by an assistant referee who apparently couldn’t believe Smith was that fast.
The two top-ranked teams, public or private, play for the state title tonight in Richmond. Game time is 6 p.m. at Ukrop Park.
The Oaks meet St. Catherine’s of Richmond, the team that knocked them out in overtime in last year’s semifinal. St. Catherine’s is 33-0-3 over the past two years. One of those draws came against St. John Paul.
The 11 Oaks starters played all 100 minutes. Norfolk Collegiate is the smallest school in Division I with 125 girls in the top four grades. St. John Paul has 336 and St. Catherine’s has 319.