By the middle of the second half, it seemed as though the opening of the goal was roughly the size of a thimble.
Sayre's girls had watched 15 of their shots either hit a post or get nabbed out of the air by Bryan Station goalkeeper Lindsey Henson.
"It was definitely frustrating," senior forward Bea Cameron said. "It was a very unlucky game."
Cameron alone had at least 10 shots that went just wide or knocked off a post in the first round of the 26th District Tournament at Station Monday night.
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So she couldn't hide her joy when teammate Cameron Croney-Clark corralled a rebound of a shot and fired it back into the net with less than 13 minutes left in the game to give the Spartans a 1-0 victory.
"It was such a relief," Croney-Clark said, describing her goal. "It was just happiness that our season wasn't over yet."
Sayre will face top seed and 18th-ranked Henry Clay in the semifinals Wednesday. Sixth-ranked Tates Creek will meet No. 20 Scott County in the other semifinal Tuesday at Station.
Spartans Coach Erik Johnson was pleased to see his team continue to attack even when its shots weren't connecting.
"I was proud of how they stuck with it," he said, "not hanging their heads when things weren't going their way."
Cameron said it was difficult at times, especially against Henson, who had 11 saves.
"It was absolutely dreadful that nothing would go in," Cameron said. "But credit Bryan Station's defense, they were all playing really hard."
The Defenders, who finish the season 3-17, weren't able to get a shot on goal in the match. Station did improve from its regular-season contest against the Spartans, which it lost 5-0.
Johnson said he hasn't always seen that "stick-to-it-tiveness" from the Spartans this season. He was happy to see it now, when the season was on the line.
Johnson hopes they take that confidence into the next round against the Devils, who have star goalkeeper Kayla Price, who has committed to the University of Kentucky.
The goal might seem even smaller against Henry Clay, which has given up a region-low seven goals this season.
In the regular season, the Devils shut down Sayre 3-0.
But Johnson and his players are hopeful.
"It would be an upset, but it can be done," he said. "I like that they're believing in themselves, even as the seconds and the minutes ticked by tonight, they kept believing in themselves."
Sayre 1, Bryan Station 0
Goalkeepers—BS: Lindsey Henson; S: Emma Johnson.
Records—Sayre 6-11-1, Bryan Station 3-17.