Even as her team did its cheering, celebratory sprint across the Tates Creek field, Megan Poage was apologizing profusely.
"I'm really, really, really sorry, you guys," the Commodores' midfielder said to her teammates.
Even though the sophomore had scored the go-ahead goal for No. 22 Tates Creek in the Fayette County Soccer Spectacular, Poage was still trying to make up for a shanked penalty kick early in the second half.
"It made me really mad at myself," Poage said of the point-blank kick that drifted wide left. "I've never missed a PK and I was so disappointed in myself, but I knew that I needed to make it up to my team."
She did by scoring Creek's first goal of the game in a 2-0 victory over Paul Dunbar in pool play of the annual tournament.
With 14 minutes to play, Poage broke free, took a feed from teammate Carliegh Adams and sent a high, arching shot from 20 yards out up and over Dunbar keeper Autumn Williams.
Coach Bo Lankster, who took over the girls' program after 12 years of coaching the Creek boys, was glad to see Poage get her goal.
"She's the type of player that's not going to quit," he said. "In practice, she doesn't want to lose any game and if she has to cheat to win, she will. She's that competitive."
Alyssa Kruse followed up Poage's goal with one of her own, taking a through ball from junior defender Maggie Schlich and sending it into the goal with less than two minutes to play.
It was part of Creek's highlight reel in the second half. The Bulldogs had played even with the Commodores in the first half, with neither team getting any quality looks at the goal.
But in the second half, Creek out-shot Dunbar 7-1 to surge ahead.
"We calmed down and controlled the game more," Kruse said. "In the first part of the game, we were freaking out because it's Dunbar and they're a really big rival.
"Our defense started to win more balls, and it pushed the game forward completely."
His girls started to do what Lankster requested at half time.
"I asked them to be a little more patient with the ball and not push forward so quickly and to find each other's feet," he said. "I told them to get their head up and see all of the space that was available."
Tates Creek 2, Paul Dunbar 0
Goal—Megan Poage, Alyssa Kruse. Goalkeepers—TC: Katherine Murray; PLD: Autumn Williams.
Records—Paul Dunbar 1-1, Tates Creek 2-0.