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Palmer Ridge loses in 4A girls' soccer semis in shootout
DENVER – Even among the most devoted lovers of soccer, it’s rare to find a fan of penalty kick shootouts.
Count Palmer Ridge coach Nick Odil among those who dislike shootouts as a way to determine winners. His Bears lost to Green Mountain on Saturday evening on penalty kicks (7-6) after a 1-1 tie. The loss in the 4A semis ends Palmer Ridge’s season and prevents a title game matchup with Air Academy.
“You know, this is soccer,” Odil said as he stood a few feet away from his crying players. “I thought we had the better of the play. That’s the beauty and the curse of soccer. When you get to penalty kicks, it’s anybody’s game.”
The game ended, after regulation time and two extra periods, when Green Mountain goalie Lindsey Hendon gathered in a penalty shot by Holly Weyand. In the next instant, Green Mountain’s Rams were dancing and leaping and shouting with joy as the Bears trudged away in agony.
The game did not begin with promise for Palmer Ridge. A few minutes into the game, Green Mountain star Karlea Fehr was dribbling 40 yards away from the goal. This might not have seemed to present much danger.
Odil knew better. He knew Fehr can score from the outer reaches.
“She’s that good,” he said.
He was right. Fehr launched a shot into the goal, giving Green Mountain a 1-0 lead. It was Fehr’s 29th goal of the season.
But Palmer Ridge quickly responded. Bears senior forward Haley Fisher eluded Hendon with a expertly placed shot, tying the game. It was Fisher’s 16th goal of the season.
After that, defenses dominated. Palmer Ridge had chances in the second extra period, but could not deliver the game-ending goal.
That led to the always unpopular penalty kicks.