NICHOLASVILLE — When the West Jessamine girls' soccer team breaks a team huddle, it does so with the exclamation "Nails!"
As in "tough as nails" — the name of Coach Kevin Wright's summer camp.
With freshman Sarah Wiggins scoring a "golden goal" 32 seconds into the second overtime, the Lady Colts lived up to their motto Thursday night with a 1-0 victory over sixth-ranked Boyle County in the quarterfinals of the girls' State Soccer Tournament.
"Everybody always doubts us," senior forward Maddie Lockridge said. "They always put us down. ... They (a high school sports Web service) were saying we were going to lose tonight, 4-1, and we just love proving people wrong."
No. 15 West Jessamine (19-6-2) may be an underdog again when it takes a six-match winning streak against second-ranked Notre Dame — a 5-0 winner over Dixie Heights — into the semifinals, Thursday night at 8 at Paul Laurence Dunbar.
"I'm so proud of my team," Wright said. "We've kind of been the underdog all year."
Part of that is because of the Lady Colts' killer schedule. Wright said he learned during his days as an assistant to Jeff Lendon at Montgomery County that "if you're going to be the best, you've got to beat the best."
Wright noted "our leading assister, senior Jenna Bird, plays outside defender. So it just shows you nobody's going to say 'I'm going to stop them or them and we're going to beat West.' We're just so balanced."
The outcome was a bitter disappointment for the Lady Rebels (17-3-3), who had been unbeaten in their previous 16 games (13-0-3). Boyle, which had outscored opponents 102-7 until Thursday, was playing in the Elite Eight for the fifth time in seven years (and made the Sweet Sixteen in one year). Each time the Rebels have been knocked out, this time on a damp field with temperatures in the mid-40s and, at times, a brisk wind.
"I thought we weathered the storm going against the wind in the first half and that first overtime, and I felt very excited about that," Coach Brian Deem said. "We didn't play real well tonight. We were a little timid going through the ball, weren't as physical as we played Tuesday night (in a 1-0 win over Henry Clay)."
Outshot 10-3 in the first half, Boyle had a 9-8 advantage in the second half.
The Rebels came oh-so-close with 18½ minutes left in regulation, a shot hitting the crossbar. Five minutes later, Kennedy Collier — who will be Lockridge's college teammate next year at Kentucky — had a primo chance denied by keeper Rebekah Hulsing.
After a scoreless five-minute overtime, West Jessamine went for a quick finish.
Lockridge, on the left wing, fired a shot that was deflected by either a defender or keeper Lucinda Combs. Danielle Chanda got off a second shot from about 6 yards, the ball deflecting toward the far post.
"It came right to my feet," Wiggins said, "and I just looked up and hit it right to the corner. ... Boyle's a really good team, so it's an exciting goal."
The goal was her second of the season.
"We're super excited," Lockridge said. "This is the furthest the school's ever gone, I'm pretty sure ... and we're happy to be the ones to make it happen."
"I'm proud of my team because that just shows you that we have a bunch of different people that can score — a freshman scored our winning goal," said Kathryn Hale, one of four Colt seniors. "In the game just on Tuesday (8-1 over Letcher County Central), we had seven different people score."
Added Hana Henderson, also a senior: "This is unreal. We're on top of the world — and we're going to Dunbar!"
West Jessamine 1, Boyle County 0
Goal — WJ: Sarah Wiggins.
Goalkeepers — BC: Lucinda Combs; WJ: Rebekah Hulsing.
Records — Boyle Co. 17-3-3; West Jessamine 19-6-2.