MADISON — Madison goalkeeper Lauren Hay tried to read Kathleen McPherson’s eyes, but the Traip Academy striker wasn’t giving away her intention as she stepped up to take a crucial penalty kick.

“I try to tell where their eyes are going or the way their body moves,” Hay said. “This time, nobody even looked at the goal.”

It didn’t matter, though, because Hay stopped the final two shots she faced as No. 2 Madison advanced to the Class C South girls’ soccer final, beating No. 3 Traip 4-2 on penalty kicks Friday afternoon after the teams played 110 minutes of scoreless soccer across regulation two overtimes.

Seniors Ashley Emery, Whitney Bess, Sydney LeBlanc and Jillian Holden converted penalty kicks for the Bulldogs (15-1), who will face top-seeded Monmouth Academy on Wednesday.

Hay handled the pressure when penalty kicks were needed to decide a winner.

“I feel like it’s on me. I was so nervous,” Hay said. “I was confident and a little worried. … I feel like I did something good for the team.”

Hay turned aside tentative shots to the right side by Kiki Huntress and McPherson after Emma Auclair and Sophia Santamaria scored on Traip’s first two penalty kicks.

Madison Coach Erin Wood said her team prepared for a penalty-kick scenario during a recent scrimmage.

“I think it helps having seniors in these positions,” Wood said. “They were obviously nervous, but we didn’t look overwhelmed. They didn’t have that look on their face like it was going to be too much. Having a senior goalkeeper (helped).”

Holden, who froze Traip goalkeeper Sommer Huntress with her cleanly struck finish, believed the Bulldogs were ready for the moment.

“We’ve practiced these a lot, because we knew when we got to playoffs this is the type of thing you’re going to see,” Holden said. “It’s going to be close. You need to know how to be successful in those pressure moments.”

Both teams had opportunities to prevent the game from getting to penalty kicks.

Traip (10-4-2) dictated play in the first 15 minutes, with the Rangers’ possession and speed leading to a McPherson chance in close in the 22nd minute.

But Madison found its way into the game in the closing stages of the first half and carried the momentum into the second half. Emery hit the crossbar with a free kick in the 38th minute, and in the 44th minute she sent LeBlanc in alone, only for LeBlanc’s left-footed chance to be thwarted by Huntress (nine saves).

An audible gasp could be heard from Madison fans when, late in the second half, Traip’s Sidney Auclair centered the ball across an open goal mouth for an unmarked Jennifer McCluskey. But McCluskey wasn’t able to run onto the pass.

Madison, likewise, couldn’t break through.

“I thought, the way we played the second half and the first overtime, I thought we were going to get an opportunity. I was surprised we didn’t finish one,” Wood said. “It was a first for us in a playoff situation, and the girls did a great job. It was amazing.”

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