Staff Photo: Jonathan Phillips. Parkview's Stephanie Gutierrez (23) heads the ball backwards as Grayson's Hadrian Plott (16) collides into her on Tuesday.
LOGANVILLE -- Of course it ended keeper on keeper.
In a game where the two teams combined for 13 saves and zero goals over 90 minutes, the penalty kick session ended with Parkview's goalie Asha Wright taking a PK for the win against Grayson's Molly Williams.
"I didn't want a field goal," said Wright, who is prone to take her shots high.
This one stayed on the ground, sliding past Williams as she dove to her left giving Parkview the 1-0 win in penalty kicks over No. 9-ranked Grayson.
"I was like, 'Oh my God,'" Wright said after making the kick. "(Coach Judson) Hamby is not going to yell at me."
How could either coach yell at their defense?
Grayson turned away a barrage of Panther runs for much of the first half thanks to its back line of Hadrian Plott, Savannah Selby, Jessica Allen and Chelsea Van Baush. Even though it kept the ball on its side of the field, Parkview didn't attempt on true shot on goal in the first half. Grayson only got off one, and it didn't come until the 34th minute.
"Number one, you can't complain about a shutout in a region game," Hamby said, "number two in a game against your rival."
The Panthers' back line of Madison Ober, Allison Litchfield, Lauren Sowell and Alex Osborn weren't as busy, but they turned away the few attacks Grayson managed.
"We had some good runs early in the second (half)," Grayson head coach Terry Klinect said. "It was just a game that came down to PKs."
After a first half where Grayson's Williams watched her defense keep her net clean, she got her work in the second half. All seven of her saves came in the final 50 minutes, including turning away three in the final seven. Klinect named her his player of the match.
"Our defense met the challenge," he said.
And Parkview kept the challenge coming.
The Panthers attempted nine shots to Grayson's one in the final 23 minutes of regulation despite getting limited minutes from Kiki Nelson as she recovers from an early season injury.
"I was pleased with our energy," Hamby said. "We were very solid overall for 80 minutes. That's huge."
Just like this win.
The victory keeps Parkview unbeaten in the region and gives the Panthers (6-4, 3-0 Region 8-AAAAA) a win over a quality team after starting slowly against a tough schedule.
"Our kids are growing up a little bit," Hamby said of beating Grayson (9-3-1, 2-2). "It's good for us. We've been right there."
"It shows that we are able to be there at the end and make it happen," Wright said.