LAFAYETTE — The game came down to penalty kicks and Lakeshore made one more than St. Thomas More.
In Friday night’s Division II girls soccer semifinal, No. 1 STM and No. 4 Lakeshore battled for more than 110 minutes as goals were at a premium.
After a second-half goal by the Lady Cougars tied the game at 1-1, neither team found the back of the net for the rest of regulation, two 10-minute overtime periods and two more five-minute bonus periods.
The game would be decided on penalty kicks and STM, which was making its third-straight semifinal appearance, appeared to be primed to advance to the state championship game for the first time since 2014.
Hailey Zaunbrecher was up first and powered her kick into Lakeshore goalie Ali Bernard, who was unable to hold on to the kick.
After a miss by Lakeshore, STM’s Claire Werther drilled her kick into the back of the net and gave the Lady Cougars a 2-0 lead in the penalty kicks.
After another miss by Lakeshore, St. Thomas More appeared primed to advance but the Lady Cougars missed their next three attempts and the Titans made all three of theirs to win the game 1-1 (3-2) and move on to Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans for the title game.
Lakshore will take on Ben Franklin, a 3-0 winner over Parkway, in the state championship game on Friday, Feb. 26 at Tad Gormley Stadium.
Emma Claire Furman put the Titans on the board first at the 15-minute mark in the first half. Furman’s initial shot on goal was blocked, but the ball bounced back toward her and she powered it into the back of the net.
Lakeshore (15-6-6) controlled the tempo of the contest with an aggressive attacking offense, particularly on the edges, while on defense forcing STM to the corners. In the first half, the visiting Titans had a 6-4 shot-on-goal advantage.
STM (21-7-2) broke through with a goal of its own six and half minutes into the second half.
With an assist from Hailey Zaunbrecher, Lady Cougars sophomore Colleen Vides found the back of the net on a header that tied the game.
From then on the two teams continued to play tight defense as clean shots on goal were pretty much non-existent.
At the end of regulation the score remained tied at 1-1.
STM had a couple of chances to take the lead in the first two 10-minute overtime periods. Zaunbrecher laced a kick toward the goal to set up a header but the Lady Cougars bunched up in front of the goal were unable to score. In the second overtime period, Emily LeJeune had a scoring chance but that was unable to find the back of the net.
With another two five-minute overtime periods, the score remained 1-1 and then came penalty kicks.