COLUMBIA — At first, Hope Wright’s game-winning save didn’t register with the other Tolton Catholic penalty kick shooters.
Wright, who stopped the last Fatima shooter's attempt in a 2-1 overtime victory Tuesday, looked on as her four teammates huddled together after watching the save. Then after a moment of confusion, they quickly realized the Trailblazers had finally won the game.
“We won, we won!” they screamed while jumping up and down.
You can pardon the Trailblazers for failing to immediately recognize their victory. After all, they had just completed more than 100 grueling minutes of soccer against a balanced Fatima squad.
“We don’t do PKs very often, so it took us a moment,” sophomore Andrea Wikle said. “We were thinking ‘Did we win, or does Heidi (Gundy) still have to go?’”
Wikle, one of coach Amy Gundy’s most experienced players, said after the penalty round that this was the most soccer she had played in one game before. Tolton and Fatima tied 1-1 after regulation and failed to score in two 10-minute overtime periods.
“I could see they were exhausted,” Gundy said. “I was really proud of them, and I even saw some bursts of speed in the last minutes of overtime that made me think we might score and win.”
Wright brought speed all night from the left flank. Predominately a goalkeeper during the first half of the season, Gundy moved Wright to the field to generate more offense for the Trailblazers. After scoring the game’s first goal and terrorizing Fatima defenders with her outside touch, Gundy told Wright she would be between the pipes for penalties.
“I only played goal for the PKs,” Wright said. “That was kind of hard because I didn’t get a warmup. But it was fun.”
The Fatima shooters weren’t having fun, though. They failed to get their first three shots on target and quickly fell into a hole after Olivia Oglesby put Tolton ahead with its second kick.
Not quite limping, but certainly not feeling great after her team endured 100 minutes of soccer, the Tolton sophomore nailed the ball into the left netting and out of reach of the Fatima goalkeeper.
Minutes later, Oglesby and the rest of her teammates were bowing to the Tolton faithful who stayed more than two and a half hours to watch the victory.
Tolton (3-10) is set to play next week in the Class 1, District 8 tournament in Boonville.
Supervising editor is Grant Hodder.