YARMOUTH — Some games, a few scoring opportunities is just enough.
Sweeper Shannon Buzzell headed in a corner kick from Kylie Kemp 6:56 into overtime to lift Monmouth Academy to a 1-0 victory over North Yarmouth Academy in a Western Class C prelim Friday afternoon.
“I heard Coach (Gary Trafton) yell, ‘Shannon, this is your ball,’” Kemp said. “So I aimed right where Shannon was going.”
The victory sends the ninth-seeded Mustangs (9-5-1) on to a quarterfinal Tuesday against top-seeded St. Dom’s (12-1-1). Eighth-seeded NYA, making its first appearance in the state tournament since 2009, end the season at 7-6-2.
Kemp set up the winning play, swinging a corner kick in from the left of NYA keeper Taylor Leech (five saves). Buzzell, who scored earlier in the season off a similar play, leapt into the air and drove the ball into the back of the net.
“It doesn’t seem real at first,” Buzzell said. “Then you hear people screaming, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, it went in!’”
The play ended a frustrating afternoon for the Mustangs. Eleven minutes into the game, they pulled off a trick play during a corner to Leech’s left. Kemp and a teammate acted as though they were disagreeing over who should take the corner. One player was to tap the ball, allowing it to make a full rotation and be in play. The girls executed the play, with Kemp lofting it just inside the far post for what they thought was a 1-0 lead. But the referee disallowed the goal, saying the ball was not legally put into play.
Then, about 12 minutes into the second half, a miscommunication between teammates left Kemp with a yellow card because of an illegal substitution, forcing her to sit out for 10 minutes. That was no small call, as she entered the game with 17 goals and four assists in 10 games this season.
NYA carried play throughout, thanks in large part to center back Emily Baker, midfielders Jennifer Machin and Mary Morrison and the striker tandem of Alex Wahlstrom and Melanie Regan. The Panthers ended up with a considerable edge in corner kicks (9-2), shots (25-10) and shots on frame (17-6). Further evidence of the Panthers’ aggression: Monmouth enjoyed a 12-3 advantage in free kicks.
Monmouth keeper Mikayla Cameron (17 saves) was outstanding, reaching high time and again to pluck seemingly sure goals from just under the crossbar.
“The girls are devastated because they know they’re good enough to move on,” NYA Coach Josh Thornton said. “It came down to what we’ve done all year, we’ve not attacked a corner in their end, and we’ve not done it the other way. Against a good team, if you don’t do it, you’re going to struggle.”
And that’s where Monmouth found its chance.
“I told the girls that everyone makes mistakes,” Trafton said. “All we need is one mistake and we’ll capitalize. (NYA) made the mistake of kicking the ball (over the end line), we got the corner and (Kylie and Shannon) came through.”