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Girls Soccer: Lincoln-Way Central falls to Moline in penalty-kick shootout

Brooke Bingham summed up Lincoln-Way Central’s disappointment.

“We should have finished it in regulation,” she said. “We shouldn’t have even went to overtime.”

Instead, the Knights couldn’t hold a pair of leads and fell to Moline 3-2 in a game that was decided in nine rounds of penalty kicks Tuesday night in a Class 3A Normal Sectional semifinal.

With its second straight shootout victory, Moline (17-3) advanced to its first sectional final and will face either Collinsville or Edwardsville for the title at 5 p.m. Friday. The Knights closed at 13-9-3.

“The game seemed just like our season,” Central coach Dan Radz said. “Up and down, back and forth.”

Central couldn’t clear the ball, which led to the Maroons tying the game at 2 with 23:56 left in regulation on a goal by Jamie Althiser.

Neither team could find the net for the rest of regulation and the two 10-minute overtimes. In the penalty-kick session, Moline shot first, and each team converted in the first three rounds.

Both teams missed in the fourth round, but converted in the fifth, with Brooke Mejdrich sending the shootout to sudden death for the Knights when she scored in the lower left corner to tie it at 4.

Central goalkeeper Erin Doody turned back a shot to open the sixth round, but Rachel Holt did the same for the Maroons to save their season. Both teams converted in the seventh round to knot it at 5.

Doody came up with another big stop on a dive to her left in the eighth round, but Central clanged a shot off the crossbar. Sarah Hillbloom hammered home her shot for a 6-5 Moline lead. The game ended when the Knights knocked the final kick off the left post.

The Knights had taken a 1-0 lead with 8:47 left in the first half. A Moline clearing attempt got caught up in the wind and Aliva Crowhurst was there to catch up to the ball near the left post, from where she knocked the ball into the net.

“I thought we got a lucky goal to start,” Radz said. “We had the lead, but we had very little midfield play. We couldn’t find that connection.”

Moline tied the game on a goal by Hillbloom with 36:17 left in regulation. The Knights answered less than two minutes later when Kayla Grundhofer converted in front off a perfect left side corner kick from Sarah Ortman.



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