GEORGETOWN — On the Sacred Heart roster, goalkeeper Maddie Peabody is listed at 5-foot-6.
But the junior looked like a giant as she blocked a late Lexington Catholic penalty kick to secure the Valkyries' 1-0 victory in the state semifinals at Toyota Stadium on Thursday night.
"We always tell her she has to be big because she's so little, and she was big," senior Jenna Price said of Peabody.
Price looked to be the hero early for SHA, scoring the game's lone goal with 10:13 remaining.
But Price wasn't going to take any of the glory. She said it should go to Peabody, who went to her left and blocked the penalty kick of Erin Prater after a trip in the box with nine minutes left in the game.
"With PKs, it's just luck, and it just happened to be a good day," Peabody said.
The Valkyries head to their third straight state championship game Saturday, where they will face top-ranked Notre Dame, a 2-0 winner over Daviess County in the early semifinal match.
The Pandas handed SHA its lone loss of the season.
"Sacred Heart is a wonderful team, and Saturday night may be one of the best state finals ever," Catholic Coach Terry Quigley said. "The two teams playing Saturday night are the best two teams in the state."
Quigley said Prater will blame herself for not tying the score, but the coach won't have any of it.
"That goalkeeper was just there," he said. "It wasn't a missed PK; it was a save — a big save."
Both defenses were dominant throughout the game. There were zero shots on goal in the first 48 minutes before Price got one on frame for the Valkyries, who finished with just three for the evening.
The Knights' lone shot on goal was the PK, which Peabody punched out.
"Our defense was great tonight," Peabody said. "The defense really did it tonight. The back four and the team defense, that's what won us the game. We stayed focused and talked to each other."
Price was amazed by both defenses. She said the Knights' defense was the toughest the Valkyries had faced all season. She credited her entire team with her goal.
"I had the easy part, which was turning and playing it in," Price said. "It took all of our team to get it up the field. The easy part is just finishing it."
Catholic had its run of 12 straight wins come to an end, but Quigley can think of few better ways for the season to end than a trip to Georgetown.
"It doesn't even feel like a loss," he said. "The girls were wonderful. ... Everybody who played tonight did their best and played their best. It's a great way for the seniors to go out, even though they don't feel it right now."
Notre Dame 2, Daviess County 0: Perhaps the Pandas should sign Courtney Clark up for the basketball team next.
The senior striker scored twice on rebounds of her own shots to lead Notre Dame past the Panthers, making their first trip to the state semifinals in school history.
Clark scored once in the first half and then again in the second to put the game away for the Pandas, who won their ninth straight and notched their 17th shutout of the season. They last won this tournament in 2004.
Notre Dame 2, Daviess Co. 0
Goals — Courtney Clark 2. Goalkeepers—ND: Olivia Voskuhl; DC: Jackie Lohmann; .
Records—Notre Dame 23-3-1, Daviess Co. 20-4.
Sacred Heart 1, Lexington Catholic 0
Goals — Jenna Price. Goalkeepers—LC: Ciara Thomas; SHA: Maddie Peabody.
Records—Lexington Catholic 19-5-1, Sacred Heart 18-1-2.