With both teams guaranteed spots in next week's 14th Region soccer tournament, all the Lexington Catholic and visiting Lexington Christian girls had to play for Thursday night was seeding and bragging rights.
Yet, both teams turned in efforts worthy of an elimination match.
Tied 1-1 through 80 minutes of regulation and another 30 of overtime, top-ranked Catholic outscored No. 14 LCA 4-3 on penalty kicks to win the 27th District finals.
Catholic (18-3-1) also won the regular-season match, 1-0, Sept. 20.
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"Both teams deserved it," Catholic Coach Terry Quigley said. "If they would have won the shootout, I would have had no problem with it.
"It was a great high school game. I think both teams gave everything they had and they were playing like it was a knockout game."
In the shootout, the first three players for each team found the net — Maddie Boone, Alison Braun and Hannah Treadway for LCA, Erin Prater, Kelly O'Brien and Mary Catherine Combs for Catholic.
LCA's Lauren Potter misfired, but Lady Eagles goalkeeper Myranda Powers preserved the tie with a diving save of Mary Beth Gorham's shot.
In the fifth and final round, LCA's Rachel Bertrand fired a laser to the left side of the goal. Keeper Kate Fitzgerald made a diving, one-hand deflection for the save.
"I could see the post as I was diving for the save and it was, honestly, inches from going in," Fitzgerald said. "I really didn't know I had it until my hand hit it, and just watching it go around the post is the best feeling that I've ever had."
That left the match in the hands — actually, the feet — of Catholic's fifth shooter, Kelsey Johnson. Although Gorham had been stoned when she went right, Johnson chose the same side.
"I always go right, so I didn't want to chance myself going the other way and psyching myself out," she said.
Her rising shot hit nothing but net, setting off a Lady Knights celebration.
"It always stinks to lose on PKs," LCA Coach Steve Fugmann said. "But if you had told me at the beginning of the tournament that we would beat No. 3 (West Jessamine) and then go to PKs with No. 1, we're down two starters — I'm proud of the girls. I know they're proud of themselves, so we're very happy."
The 14th Region tourney, at West Jessamine, will pit Catholic against Berea or Madison Southern, Monday at 6 p.m. LCA (15-4-1) will meet the Berea-Madison Southern winner at 8. Finals will be held Wednesday.
Catholic came out ready to play Thursday, scoring off the opening kickoff.
Gorham did the honors, going one-on-one down the right sideline, pivoting into the box and firing a bull's-eye inside the far post 31 seconds into the match.
LCA tied about 10 minutes later.
Bertrand, about 10 yards out from the goal, settled a corner kick to the back side and laced a shot past Fitzgerald.
The best chance to score before going to a shootout came in the second 10-minute overtime. Gorham sent a beautiful cross to Prater, but the latter's header sailed just over the crossbar.
Lexington Catholic 2, Lexington Christian 1 (SO)
Goals — LCA: Rachel Bertrand. Catholic: Mary Beth Gorham.
Goalkeepers — LCA: Myranda Powers. Catholic: Kate Fitzgerald.
Records — LCA 15-4-2, Catholic 18-3-1.