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Big saves in regulation, PKs lift Parkview girls to state title

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Parkview players storm mob goalie Megan Wiley following the Panthers' 2-1 win following penalty kicks to claim the Class AAAAAA state title on Saturday evening at Kennesaw State University.

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Parkview players storm mob goalie Megan Wiley following the Panthers' 2-1 win following penalty kicks to claim the Class AAAAAA state title on Saturday evening at Kennesaw State University.

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Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Parkview players celebrate Emma Carlson's first half goal as Harrison's Rachel Dymecki (22) walks away during the Class AAAAAA state championship game at Kennesaw State University.

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Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Parkview goalie Mariah Garner (1) and Kyana Campbell (22) celebrate with their teammates following the Panthers' win in the Class AAAAAA state championship game on Saturday.

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Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Parkview soccer players hoist the Class AAAAAA state championship trophy following the 2-1 win over Harrison on Saturday at Kennesaw State University.

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Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Parkview's Kristin Telford (20) and Harrison's Kelsey Zeigler go up for a header during the Class AAAAAA state championship game at Kennesaw State University

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Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Parkview celebrates a goal in penalty kicks during the Class AAAAAA state championship game against Harrison on Saturday evening at Kennesaw State University. The Panthers defeated the Hoyas 2-1 to claim the title.

KENNESAW -- Same result, different winner.

After falling to Harrison 2-1 (4-1 on penalty kicks) back on April 13, Parkview's girls soccer team got even with a win by the identical scores in the Class AAAAAA state championship game Saturday at Fifth Third Bank Stadium on the campus of Kennesaw State University.

"It was just an overall great game," Parkview coach Judson Hamby said after the Panthers (20-3) earned the program's eighth state title, and first since 2009. "We knew it was going to be a close game. We knew it was going to be a battle.

"It took about 10 minutes (after Harrison tied the game early in the second half) for us to settle in, and I felt like we finally got our legs a little bit. And we dodged a few bullets. They were coming after us."

There was no bigger bullet than the one Harrison's Julia DuPre fired with the game tied 1-1 and time winding down in regulation.

While many of the Parkview fans in the crowd will be justifiably talking about the stop Megan Wiley made on Savannah Vanderbeck's second-round attempt in the shootout, it was a save made by her predecessor, Mariah Garner, on DuPre's blast from just outside the penalty area with 10 seconds left that forced extra time and made the former possible.

"It was nerve-racking," said the junior keeper of the last of her seven saves on the night. "There's (10) seconds left and (DuPre) is about to whack a shot at me from outside the 18. So, it was kind of scary. I was happy I made the save.

"I was expecting a shot. ... I knew it was going to be high because they scored on me with a high volley earlier in the (second half)."

After Garner's big save and two scoreless overtime periods, Hamby made the same strategic move he'd made when the Panthers lost to the Hoyas (19-2) in a shootout last month -- inserting the sophomore Wiley between the pipes for the penalty-kick shootout.

"We've been working (on that) a lot, and we felt like (Wiley) was a bit better reacting-wise," Hamby said. "She's a risk taker and she likes going after (shots). So, we felt very confident with her. She's an unbelievable keeper."

After Emma Carlson and Monica Herrera traded goals in the first round and Emily Nixon started the second with a goal, the move paid off when Wiley stared down Vanderbeck dove to smother the shot and put the Panthers in the driver's seat.

"I was just thinking (that) we lost to (Harrison) in PKs (last month), and I just had to go out and redeem myself," Wiley said. "I was just thinking, I'm going to go, and if I guess right, I've got it."

Katie Hickman then converted in the top of the third before DuPre sent her third-round shot over the crossbar, allowing Kristina Meyer to seal the title for the Panthers with her goal in the fourth.

Carlson put Parkview in front toward the end of a back-and-forth first half when she caught Harrison waiting for an offside call that never came.

The freshman ran down Emma Manting's long, airborne pass amid a crowd in the penalty area, and slipped a shot past a stunned Hoya goalkeeper Allison Leone with 3:38 left in the half send the Panthers into intermission with a 1-0 lead.

But just 8:43 into the second half, Herrera outraced the Parkview defense to a loose ball on right wing and lobbed a shot over Garner, who had come off her line, and into the net to tie the game at 1-1.

The Panthers then had to dodge another bullet in the game's 76th minute when a Harrison cross rolled dangerously through the goal mouth before Meyer cleared it from just in front of the goal line to keep the game tied, and set up the heroics of Parkview's goalkeeping duo.