FORT WAYNE – Desired or not, penalty kicks were kind to the Bishop Dwenger girls soccer team in the Carroll Sectional semifinals – on two occasions.
The Class 2A No. 16 Saints advanced to Thursdays sectional championship with a 2-1 win in PKs over No. 9 Carroll on Tuesday.
We were good enough in the penalty kicks, but you never want to go to penalty kicks, Dwenger coach Jeff Killion said. But in this situation, it worked out for us.
(The Chargers) are a very good team, and we are very fortunate to win.
Bishop Dwenger (12-4) will face Snider (12-2-1), an 8-1 winner over Northrop in the second semifinal, at 7 p.m. Thursday in the title match.
Carroll (12-3-2) saw its early 1-0 lead disappear in the second half as Kellee Oshaughnessy tied the score at 1 with under 13 minutes remaining on a penalty kick.
I felt like we outplayed them in regulation, but sometimes the game of soccer works that way, Carroll coach Rick Smith said. It shouldnt come down to PKs, but we should have finished some things we didnt.
The PK opportunity resulted after a controversial hand-ball call in the box by the official.
You have 11 seniors who have worked their butts off, and to have it taken away like that is just not right, Smith said. I am not going to get over this one because I feel like it was taken away from them. The kids didnt get a fair shot.
The teams played two scoreless overtime sessions before Dwenger won in penalty kicks, 4-3, as senior goalkeeper Kathryn Jenkins stopped an early PK attempt and Carroll had another one go wide to set off a frenzied Saints celebration.
I just love it, Jenkins said of penalty kicks. It is like intensity, and you pretty much just have to guess a lot. I am excited, and I love PKs. I dont get nervous.
Kyley Marano gave the Chargers a 1-0 lead in the first half when she headed in a goal in heavy traffic on a corner kick with an assist from Claire Geiger.
We had to push some people up from the sides and push forward a little more and come up as a team and come back as a team, Jenkins said of rallying to tie the score.
Dwenger rebounded from a 6-1 loss to Homestead late in the regular season.
It was just something we had to bounce back from, Jenkins said. They are probably the best team we have seen.
Killion, who is in first season as the Saints coach, agreed.
That was a shocker to these guys to get beat that bad, he said. We are not worried about that one, and we put it behind us.
In the other semifinal, Snider beat Northrop 8-1 behind four goals and two assists from freshman Mikayla Unger.