Staff Photo: John Bohn Collins Hill Loren Mitchell (6) defends against Peachtree Ridge's Graham Green (5) during the second half of a girls soccer game Tuesday. Peachtree Ridge defeated Collins Hill in overtime and penalty kicks.
SUWANEE -- After 90 minutes of play, Tuesday's Region 7-AAAAA soccer match between Collins Hill and Peachtree Ridge came down to penalty kicks.
With the score tied at 3-3 after three rounds of penalty kicks, things seemed dim for the Lions as Katie Fitton missed her penalty kick, giving the No. 8 Eagles an opening.
However, just like she did all night, Peachtree Ridge goalkeeper Cosette Morche made a save on Kaitlyn Dal Savio to keep things tied. She then watched teammate Macey Raines score on her next PK, then again stopped one final shot to give the Lions the win, 1-1 (4-3 on PKs).
"It feels great," said Peachtree Ridge head coach Bill Holleman. "Player to player, (Collins Hill) was better, but our girls worked hard and did what they needed to do."
Morche was the side story of the game as she found herself constantly in the line of fire, rising to the challenge each time with 14 saves.
Throughout the first half, the Eagles (5-5, 1-1) controlled the ball, possessing it two-thirds more in their offensive zone than the Lions did. But it was Peachtree Ridge (6-3, 2-0) that would get on the board first as Jordyn Missel curled the ball into the goal from 30 yards out in the 26th minute.
From there, the teams split the possession time with neither team wanting to make a mistake before the end of the first half.
However, the Lions did make a mistake, and the Eagles capitalized as Jessica Dacey placed the ball in the upper right corner of the goal with 36 seconds left in the half.
"I told our girls to stay disciplined and focused (at halftime)," Holleman said. "We just had to continue to do what we do."
As the second half wore on, Collins Hill continued to control the ball, but never could put it into the back of the net because of Morche. The Eagles even had two wide open shots within the last 10 minutes of the game, but Morche made diving saves on both to keep the score tied.
Not to be outdone, Collins Hill goalkeeper Halla Jibreen made her fair share of saves, including one on a one-timer in the 86th minute.
In overtime, neither team mounted much of an offense, sending the game to penalty kicks.
"This was a crucial win for us that will help us get closer to qualifying for state," Holleman said. "I wouldn't worry about Collins Hill. They'll be there come playoff time."
In the boys game, things were a little different as it got ugly early for Peachtree Ridge.
From the opening kickoff, No. 5 Collins Hill controlled the ball and never allowed the No. 3 Lions to get into much of a rhythm offensively. However, offense was not a problem for the Eagles.
Collins Hill got on the board in the eighth minute when Edan Mendoza put the ball in the back of the net after a deflection in the middle.
Three minutes later, Nomis Cisic got in on the act, breaking away from the Lions' defense to score, giving the Eagles a 2-0 lead.
Peachtree Ridge (7-2, 1-1) settled down for the next 20 minutes, even getting a good opportunity in the middle off a corner kick in the 22nd minute.
However, Collins Hill (7-2, 2-0) picked things back up as Mendonza touched the ball to Cisic, who then touched it back to him before he put it in the back of the net, giving the Eagles a 3-0 lead in the 35th minute.
The Eagles would add one more goal in the second half to win 4-0.