Eighty minutes was not enough time to settle a first-round girls playoff game between Dominican and Baton Rouge High on Thursday at Pan American Stadium.
But 100 minutes were, however, as Marcelle Kepper’s header in overtime gave 11th-seeded Dominican a 1-0 victory over No. 22 seed Baton Rouge High in the first round of the Division I playoffs.
“Always a great feeling to survive and advance to the next round,” said Dominican coach Al Silvas. “Baton Rouge was definitely a tough opponent that gave us everything, and we gave everything to beat them.”
Dominican dominated possession in the first half and found many quality scoring opportunities as a result. However, they were not able to capitalize on any of them.
Olivia Singleton got the first shot on goal in the eighth minute, but Martha Cox got the save. Singleton had a shot that went just wide of the goal in the 24th minute, and Madigan Spiers sent a free kick over the goal a minute later. Dominican was less dominant in the second half.
“Second half, we were going into the wind, and we seemed to be a little off on every pass,” Silvas said. “We changed the tactics to go a little more direct, and then slowed it back down to try to stretch them out. ... I thought we were a little bit better with the ball in the overtime.”
Baton Rouge had a couple of scoring chances in the second half. Terrilyn Legier had a pair of breakaway opportunities, but the ball did not bounce her way and both shots went just wide of the net.
“I’m really happy that my defenders kept their composure,” Dominican goalkeeper Katie Sidora said. “We just gave what we could, and we’re happy with the result.”
Dominican finally broke through on Kepper’s header in the 88th minute on a corner kick by Spiers.
“It’s crazy. Being in overtime and having everyone trying to score to win the game,” Kepper said. “It was nice to be able to put it in the back of the net for the team.”
Dominican kept on the attack the rest of the extra time periods, maintaining control of the ball and limiting any chances Baton Rouge had to equalize.
“It’s hard to lose that way,” said Baton Rouge coach Sheila Achee. “All our kids played really hard. Our keeper played really well. That was just a beautiful header ... There was no way she could have stopped it.”
Dominican will face off against sixth-seed East Ascension in the next round.