KETTERING — It took two days and a Penalty Kick round to determine the winner, but the third-seeded Greeneview Rams girls high school varsity soccer squad claimed a 1-1, 3-2 PK win over No. 8 Camden Preble Shawnee in the Division III North 1 Bracket sectional final.
The two Miami Valley area teams endured a rainstorm delay and played to a 1-all tie after one overtime period, when the first day of competition at Miami Valley School was called because of darkness on Monday night.
Tuesday’s round of overtime play didn’t break the tie, either.
So the two teams squared off for a nerve wracking penalty kick battle.
For Greeneview, junior forward Josie Faris recorded the Rams’ first PK score, followed by Alexa Sampson. Then Faith Rutherford scored the game-clincher to earn Greeneview the win. Faith’s twin sister Shelby was in goal for Greeneview and made three saves in the PK rounds to ensure victory for the Rams, now 14-2-1 on the year.
Keeper Shelby Rutherford admitted to being understandably nervous during the PK round.
“Coach prayed with me before I went out there, and that kinda helps to settle my nerves,” she said. “And I just focus on four things — their angle, where their eyes are, their position and their body movement. And so thinking about that enabled me not to think ‘Oh my goodness! This is such a stressful situation!’ It helped me to stay focused.
“It means a lot to get this win, and to celebrate it with these players, my best group of friends.”
Shelby’s sister had been nursing an injury from the sidelines in the later matches of the regular season, in hopes of being available for a key moment in the post season. It’s safe to say that, at least on Tuesday, that strategy worked.
“All that time that I spent on the bench, just saving up to get me healthy for a time like this, I think it’s all paid off,” Faith said, still smiling. “Now I have to just do what I can to recover more and get ready for Thursday.”
The Rams will take on 2018 state champion Cincinnati County Day, the top-ranked Division III team in Ohio according to the final regular season Ohio State Soccer Coaches Association poll, for the district title.
Rutherford wanted to be sure and recognize (sophomore defender) Ellie Snyder for stepping up, and said her sister Shelby had a solid game and “came up big for us in the end.”
Faith referred to Faris, who put Greeneview on the PK scoreboard first, as her ‘partner in crime.’
“I’m gonna tell ya, I about peed my pants. I was sooooo nervous,” Faris laughed. “I think the thing is to not look at the keeper, to look at the four corners so she doesn’t know where you are going, and just nail it. … I’ll never forget this. I’ll tell you what, when I got here I was so nervous. We just played as hard as we could, and we gave it our all.”
Sampson said she kinda felt less pressure — and then some more — after watching Faris’s tally.
“PK’s are an easy thing to do. You push the ball to the corner … which makes it 100 times harder!” she said. “Seeing Josie score kind of let off a bit of the pressure, and then put a bit more on. We expect everyone to make ‘em.”
Rams coach Shawn Brown said the team has nothing to lose going up against the state’s best.
“They’re the defending state champions, and they haven’t lost a match yet this season,” Brown said. “I consider it an honor that we get to play the number one team in the state. I mean, how many times to you ever get to say that? We’ll come up with a game plan, we’ll look at some film, and we’ll try to come up with a game plan that will help us be competitive. We wanna give them a good match.
“That’s our goal.”
That match is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24 at Miamisburg High School.