Natalie Hoff and Riley Evans chat with us post-game.
South Carroll's Natalie Hoff scored a goal with one second remaining on the clock to send Thursday's game against Westminster into overtime with the county championship on the line.
The Cavaliers had never won a county title in the program's history, and they were determined to change that.
Riley Evans had herself a night, too — she scored six goals, including the game-winner, as the Cavaliers defeated the Owls 14-13 in two overtimes in a thriller at Ruby Field.
"I knew once Natalie had that shot that we were going to win this," Evans said. "When we come back, we want to win and I think we really showed that. They're such a good team too and it was an awesome game and it's an awesome feeling."
Junior attacker Abbey Behn scored twice and added a game-high three assists for the county champion Cavaliers (10-0, 5-0 in the county), who have Manchester Valley remaining on their Carroll schedule but won the title based on handing the Owls their first county loss.
Westminster (10-2, 5-1) went on a three-goal scoring run in the second half to build a five goal lead over the Cavaliers, 12-7, with 12:10 remaining in regulation. SC junior attacker Abbey Behn played a role in each of the Cavs next three goals scored, all in a row. Behn assisted two — scored by Shannon Finch and Kennedy Evans - and scored an unassisted tally all within a 3-minute span to trim the deficit 12-10.
The Owls lost junior midfielder Anna Ruby in the first half to two yellow cards and Hannah Dintino was handed her second with less than two minutes to play. The Owls were ahead by two until Behn sent a feed to Evans that was tipped in behind Owls goalie Sara Tyssowski.
Hoff took a pass from Finch 30 seconds later and swooped the ball low for the game-tying goal.
Westminster, looking for its first outright county title since 2011, played with a man down through the overtime periods. Both teams battled for the ball in the air, on the ground, and at the net. Tyssowksi and Cavs' goalie Julia Weiss each made crucial saves to help get the ball back in their team's hands.
"It's always a tough loss, particularly when it comes to counties," Owls coach Jackie Stevens said "South Carroll, obviously they've been having a great season and we have too. It just came down to possession. We had a couple cards that hurt us, missed possessions and a couple turnovers that hurt us during the game but we still fought hard. We still came back and for the overtime we were playing a man down, so we still were able to possess the ball, it just came down to the last second and that last possession."
The Cavs opened the game with a 3-0 scoring lead until Lauren Saltz, a freshman, got the Owls on the board with a free position tally. Westminster didn't earn its first lead until Madi Macera netted her second goal, from the free position, with one minute remaining in the first half.
Tyssowksi, a sophomore, made four saves in goal and senior Carleigh Porter made one for the Owls (10-2, 4-1).
South Carroll coach Brigid McTavish, clutching her scorebook and smiling, looked over at the Cavaliers posing for a team picture in front of the goal at Ruby Field. It was a team effort from beginning to end, she said, and it's all she could ask for as a coach.
Patience, she added, was key to helping the girls secure that double overtime victory.
"I'd rather them hold the ball and make the right one then to get too antsy and go for the one that's there the first time," McTavish said. "They did that, they held it, they saw each other, they were looking for each other and they just kept going for it."