They were tired and drained, emotionally, mentally and physically. But Cheverus High’s girls’ soccer players were not ready to have their season end Friday night.

After 110 minutes of scoreless soccer in a Class A South semifinal against fourth-seeded Gorham, the top-seeded and unbeaten Stags won the game in penalty kicks. Cheverus converted three of their four penalty kicks while Gorham went 0 for 3, giving the Stags a 1-0 win at Deering High’s Memorial Field.

The clinching goal was scored by senior Sarah Cummings.

“I was tired,” said Cheverus senior midfielder Emma Gallant, who scored the first penalty kick. “But I definitely was not ready for this to be my last game.”

Cheverus (16-0) will play third-seeded Scarborough (14-2) in the Class A South championship game at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Biddeford’s Waterhouse Field.

Gorham, which lost 5-2 to Cheverus in the regular season, finished 11-4-1.

“We just played the game of our season, and that’s what I look for in the end,” said Gorham Coach Jeanne Zarrilli. “You don’t always come out with the win, but if you come out and play your hearts out and play the best soccer you can play …”

It was a marvelously played, evenly matched game, with both sides getting standout goalkeeping. Cheverus keeper Neve Cawley had six saves before PKs, and Gorham keeper Lily Courtney made nine saves.

After Gorham had a final scoring opportunity go wide of the left post with six seconds remaining in the second sudden-death overtime, Cheverus Coach Craig Roberts knew he had say something.

“When we went to kicks, I didn’t think our body language was great,” he said. “And I called the girls over and said, ‘Somebody is going to win and somebody is going to lose. And it hasn’t been determined yet. So we need to make sure it’s us.’ That got them going. That got them pumped up.”

Each round of penalty kicks involves five players from each team, who alternate kicks. Cawley said she cleared her mind before each Gorham shot. “I felt really calm because we’ve practiced PKs a lot this year,” she said. “I just felt confident and ready for anything.”

Gallant went first and scored with a hard shot to the left upper corner. Cawley then dove to her right to knock down a shot by Gorham’s Brittney Landry.

It was still 1-0 when Cheverus’ third shooter, Mia Kratzer, put in a low shot, again to the left corner. Cawley then stopped Gorham’s Madison Michaud.

Cummings, who had played only about three minutes in the game, was up next for Cheverus. She calmly kicked the ball into the right corner to end it.

“I’ve been going to the right since we’ve played in travel,” said Cummings. “I just feel confident with that shot.”

“Sarah is a four-year varsity player for us and has played different roles for us in those four years,” said Roberts. “She’s a really smart player, a calm and composed player. And she handles pressure really well. I was confident in having her in our first five. And she nailed it.”

 

 

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