Wilde Lake senior midfielder Maria Pascale said that coming into Wednesday's regional quarterfinal game with Reservoir, she had been going through a PK slump.
Luckily, Pascale and her teammates got some shootout practice in an opening round win over Howard, because they needed it five days later, when Pascale kicked in the game winner in the fifth round of penalty kicks on a low and hard shot to the right side.
"I was in a little bit of a PK slump, but (assistant coach David Procida) told us when you go up for your PK don't imagine what will happen if you miss, imagine how good it will feel when you put it in," she said. "So I went up there and I was like 'I'm gonna put this in and we're gonna win' ... and it felt amazing."
Wilde Lake freshmen Rachel Lazris and Annie Hudec, and junior Sarah Hulit also scored shootout goals — Hudec's on a perfect laser to the upper left corner. Wilde Lake goalie Lauren Hutchinson made two big saves in the shootout to preserve the 2-1 win.
Hutchinson "is doing fantastic, she's not afraid of anything and she will go for the ball on her instincts, she puts herself out there," Pascale said.
In regulation, Wilde Lake outshot Reservoir, 12-4, but the Gators were the first to put one in the net, midway through the second half.
Keri Rager "dribbled down the right side of the field, cut (into) the box and finished," coach Josh Sullivan said.
That goal held up for 15 minutes, and Wilde Lake's hopes for a comeback were starting to dwindle. But with less than four minutes left, Pascale deflected a ball to junior forward Carlianne Laguierre, who collected it in front of the box and calmly booted it home.
"As much as (Laguierre) likes to take these crazy shots from 30 yards out, she stays unebelievably composed when she's right in front of the goalie," coach Davia Procida said. "What I saw tonight, I was blown away, she couldn't have done it any better. She kept us in the game."
Wilde Lake controlled possession for the majority of the game, but Gators goalie Morgan Bouie (11 saves) kept the Wildecats off the board until Laguierre's goal.
"We were on the attack the entire time, we were getting lots of shots, we were putting them on the frame. We just weren't getting them in the back of the net, but we got enough to put it into overtime," Pascale said. "We weren't too worried just because we've come from behind before and we knew we could do it."
Earlier this season, Wilde Lake (9-5-1) defeated Reservoir, 1-0. But they now have to face undefeated and top-seeded River Hill, which is coming off of a 6-0 win over Mt. Hebron.
"We've been the underdog all season ... but we've got a great group and you never know what can happen," Davia Procida said. "That's the great thing about sports and the best thing about soccer is you really never know what can happen."