WATSON — When Live Oak senior goalkeeper Alexis Hay tried to clear a ball in the third minute of Thursday night’s Division II playoff game against South Terrebonne, she felt a pop in her right knee and everything she’s been through the past month came rushing back to her mind.
A month ago, Hay thought her soccer career was over with a torn ACL and meniscus.
She wasn’t about to give up that easy, though.
Hay could have given up and watched the No. 15-seeded Eagles finish their season, but instead, she strapped on a brace, fought through the pain and helped the program win its first postseason game, defeating No. 18 South Terrebonne 3-0 in overtime.
“It popped in the very beginning, and I was like, ‘I’ve got to get back in there,’ so I just started running,” Hay said.
“I guess God gave me the painkillers to keep going, but I didn’t even care if it hurt.”
Hay still produced eight saves, surprising even herself in the process.
“Eight? I didn’t even know I had that many,” Hay said. “It feels great, but it was also a team effort. If it wasn’t for my defenders, I would’ve gotten killed.
“But either way, I never thought this would be happening. I thought my career was over.”
After ending regulation in a scoreless tie, the Eagles (15-6-1) were able to break the scoring drought in the 89th minute thanks to an unlikely source.
Up until that point, freshman Emily Patrick had only tried one shot on goal, but she made her second count from about 20 yards out to the far right post.
It was the first postseason goal the Eagles had scored and was enough to give them the win on Thursday night.
“Our girls just fought hard, they dug deep, and they laid it on the line,” said Live Oak coach Jimmy Cook.
“They just fought and fought, and fortunately, we were able to come away with a victory.”
After Patrick’s score, the floodgates opened on South Terrebonne (10-5-4) as Live Oak leading scorer Alicia Carlos scored two goals during the second overtime period.
Carlos’ first goal was a free kick in the 93rd minute that sailed just under the cross bar, and the second came in the 98th minute when she struck a ball from 6 yards out.
It was a disappointing finish for South Terrebonne junior goalkeeper Hannah Weatherall who made 14 saves before Patrick’s game-winner.
“We got a little tired and started stabbing at the ball instead of playing the ball like we were in regulation,” South Terrebonne coach Archie Adams said. “A couple of bad touches cost us a couple of shots, and then the floodgates pretty much opened from there.”
Live Oak moves on to play at No. 2-seeded Benjamin Franklin in the second round.