MOUNT PLEASANT — Eighty minutes were not enough time to determine the SCISA AAA girls soccer championship, so Heathwood Hall and Porter-Gaud played past regulation.
In the second 10-minute overtime period, Heathwood Hall’s Erin Ress beat Porter-Gaud keeper Annie Hay from 25 yards out, giving the Highlanders a 1-0 victory.
“I had no idea where it was going when I shot, but I knew I had to give it a try,” admitted Hess after the emotional contest. “It was such a tough match. I was trying to make something happen and it worked out for us.”
It was Porter-Gaud’s second straight loss in the state finals, having lost to Cardinal Newman last season.
“It hurts bad because we have 11 seniors on this team but we played really hard today,” said Cyclones coach Daniel Jordan. “I am really proud of our effort. We played a lot better in the second half and I really felt it might go our way. We had two or three really good chances, but it just didn’t go in the back of the net.
“It stings to be so close and come up short, but our girls just ran out of time. It was back and forth all day. We are disappointed to lose but certainly not disappointed with our effort.”
The title game was a rematch of a regular season contest, which Heathwood Hall won convincingly, 6-1. However, that was the season opener and Porter-Gaud was short a few players. The rematch proved to be much more defensive.
Each team had scoring opportunities in the first half but could not finish, sending the teams to the break in a scoreless tie.
The second-half was more of the same as both teams got off quality attempts on goal only to be turned away.
Porter-Gaud’s season ends at 18-3, and while the loss of senior leadership will be felt, Jordan sees a bright future.
“We had a fantastic season and I am so proud of the way our girls handled themselves on and off the field,” said Jordan. “We will miss our seniors, but we feel like we are building a very strong program here. We will have more opportunities in the future.”