GOOSE LAKE — Ashley Dexter saw pretty much the same thing from her Central DeWitt girls soccer team. That disappointed her. Northeast coach Matt Kepple was delighted to see the Rebels pick up right where they left off Tuesday night when their Class 1A Region 7 quarterfinal was suspended by lightning barely a minute into overtime.
Still, the Sabers walked off the field with the smiles — and a 1-0 victory — after outscoring Northeast 2-1 in a penalty-kick shootout Wednesday in the game's completion.
"That's the way it falls," Kepple said.
Emily McAleer, a sophomore, broke the 1-1 tie in the third round of the shootout, and junior goalkeeper Brooke Chapman protected her goal successfully on Northeast's final three attempts to preserve the 2-1 advantage.
"The only one that kept us in that was the keeper," Dexter said, her 9-8 team now tasked with facing top-ranked Davenport Assumption in Friday's semifinals.
As she had done throughout regulation and overtime, Northeast goalkeeper Victoria Kuznetsova made sure her team had a chance, too.
"She played outstanding," Kepple said. "The ones that went in were unsavable, pretty much."
Senior Maggie Grell started the shootout with a high, left-footed kick that hit the back of the crossbar and dropped into the net behind Kuznetsova.
"I did not plan to go high at all," she said. "I actually planned to go wide right to the lower corner, my sweet spot, but it worked out. I had a panic attack, a little anxiety (seeing the ball go off the crossbar) and my heart skipped a beat. I saw it hit the back of the crossbar and then bounce behind her."
Junior Nicole Delarm quickly evened it for Northeast. The Rebels' first shooter, Delarm sent her shot past Chapman into the upper left side of the net.
That was the only shot on goal that Chapman didn't stop.
After both teams missed their second attempts, McAleer put the Sabers back ahead with another high shot, one that a leaping Kuznetsova got her hands on, but that had the momentum to sail into the net.
"I was trying to go low and to the corner," McAleer said, adding that sometimes the ball doesn't go where you want it to. "I try not to look up so they don't know where I'm going. I was really nervous (when she saw Kuznetsova reach the ball). Even the smallest touch they get can get it."
But, when it went in, "It was just a weight off my shoulders," she said.
Chapman took care of the rest.
"I was a little nervous, but knowing that your team is still going to be there for you either way is helpful," she said.
After Cara Soenksen's shot hit the right post, Chapman dived to her left to knock away a shot by Stephanie Delarm, and when she went down and cradled Jessica Spooner's shot in the final round, the Sabers had advanced.
"A lot of it is reaction," Chapman said of defending in shootouts, "but some of it is knowing their players and paying attention during the game."
When the game resumed Wednesday, 1:09 into overtime, it resembled the action from the scoreless battle Tuesday.
"It was the same thing, only better weather conditions," Dexter said.
"We were all hoping we'd just get it over in like one minute," McAleer said.
Central DeWitt again had the advantage in attacks, but Northeast's defense was up to the task.
"I told them, 'It's sudden death; you can't give up a goal,' " Kepple said.
His players responded.
"That (21-hour break) really helped us," Kepple said. "We were dead tired yesterday."
The Rebels' defense frustrated the Sabers, who had trouble mounting a sustained attack.
"We're not used to them just kicking the ball out; we're used to playing at our feet and passing," Grell said. "It was really difficult with the field conditions and just kicking the ball out of bounds."
McAleer said: "They kick it out a lot, and that gives us a lot of opportunities at throw-ins, but we didn't take advantage."
But, after more than 100 minutes of soccer over almost 24 hours, the Sabers finally went home with the win.
Kepple, though, couldn't be too disappointed with the ending to his team's 3-7-3 season.
"We had a great season," he said. "Compared with last season we're making leaps and bounds. Last year in districts it was not even a game.
"I told them to remember how we did last year at this point. It's our third season, and we're getting where we need to go."
River Queens blasted
DUBUQUE — Dubuque Hempstead dominated its Class 3A Region 6 matchup with Clinton, winning 8-0 on Wednesday.
Hempstead (12-5), which has won 11 of its past 12 games, peppered the River Queens (6-10-1) with shots. Clinton goalkeeper Hannah Dehner made 30 saves. Meanwhile, the River Queens did not get a shot on goal, making for a relatively smooth night for Hempstead goalie Shelby Scales.
Rachel Bybee led Hempstead with three goals, while Allison Bitter added two. Alesha Duccini finished with a goal and two assists and Madison Astgen and Alicia Bowden had one of each.
The loss marked the final game for River Queens seniors Hannah Bolen, Katarina Forari, Julia Isenhour and Anna Yackshaw.
More photos Check out Clintonherald.smugmug.com to see more photos from both the Tuesday and Wednesday portions of the regional soccer semifinal between Central DeWitt and Northeast.