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Panthers ousted on penalty kicks

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

LILBURN -- For the second straight season, it was Northview that played the villain for the Parkview girls. This time it was especially painful, as the Titans came to the Big Orange Jungle and prevailed 1-0 on penalty kicks in the first round of the Class AAAAA soccer playoffs.

The teams played 80 tight minutes of scoreless regulation, then two five-minute scoreless overtime periods. It all came down to penalty kicks, with Northview making three and Parkview only scoring on one.

"They had chances and we had chances," said Parkview coach Judson Hamby. "In the end it came down to penalty kicks."

Parkview's Cherrelle Jarrett converted the first penalty kick, then Parkview keeper Mariah Garner gave her team the momentum by stopping Northview's Jessa Grossman with a diving save to her left. But Parkview couldn't take advantage of the break; Alex Ober put her shot over the net and Northview evened it when Aubrey Walsh stuck it in the right side.

Parkview's Iris Gonzalez hit the crossbar on her attempt and couldn't believe it when the ball deflected out. Northview's Amanda Schwartz beat Garner to give the Titans a 2-1 edge and Northview keeper Taylor Erickson went way to her right to knock away the attempt by Stephanie Gutierrez. Hannah Edwards scored the game-winner on the next try.

"We've been working hard on our penalty kicks," said Northview coach Jen Barr. "We felt like if Taylor could stop one that we could get the momentum back."

Northview (9-10) advances to the second round to play at Walton, while Parkview's season ends at 10-9. Northview has suffered through an injury-plagued season and Barr said Tuesday's game was the first time that the starting team has been on the field since the opening game. Parkview fielded one of its youngest teams, with only four seniors on the roster.

"Our girls battled hard and they didn't get discouraged," Hamby said. "They just kept playing hard."

Northview had a better first half, but Parkview had a better second half, particularly over the last 10 minutes, when the Panthers became more aggressive and produced several opportunities. Neither team mounted any chances in the first overtime, but Northview had a couple of good looks in the second overtime, once firing over the net and once firing wide.

"I felt like we should have had three (goals)," Barr said. "But they had some good opportunities on their side, too. It was just a good soccer game."

"We had a lot of chances in the second half," Hamby said. "That's soccer for you."