COLUMBIA — Academic Magnet dropped a 2-1 shootout decision to traditional power Riverside in the championship game of the Taco Bell Viking Cup girls soccer tournament on Sunday at Spring Valley High.
The Raptors, who are ranked No. 1 in Class AA, reached the finals of the elite tournament with four straight wins, including a 3-2 overtime triumph over Dutch Fork in the semifinals on Sunday morning on a goal by senior star Kallie Peurifoy.
“Losing on PKs is a tough way to go, but I’m really proud of the effort by my girls,” said Academic Magnet coach Anna Merriman. “I can’t be disappointed because we had an incredible weekend with two golden-goal wins and made it to the finals here for the first time. I think a lot of people were impressed with what we were able to put forth.”
The Raptors had a 1-0 win over defending Class AAAA state champion T.L. Hanna in the Bracket A final on Saturday to advance to the final four. Hanna sent Merriman’s team packing in the tournament semifinals last year.
The teams scored one goal apiece during regulation. Peurifoy, who has signed to play at Virginia Tech, gave the Raptors a 1-0 lead with four minutes to go in the first half, splitting the Riverside defense to get an open shot and cleanly beat Warrior keeper Logan Gregory.
Riverside got the equalizer with seven minutes left in regulation.
After a scoreless overtime period, the outcome came down to a penalty-kick duel. Riverside went 4 for 5 with Kaleigh Kurtz’s conversion on the fifth and final turn being the title clincher.
“It was a very even match with two deserving teams,” said Riverside coach Terry Archenhold, who has guided the Warriors to five state titles since 2000.
“We have a very experienced team and have the potential to get our first state championship in 4A. We won here a couple of times before and it’s always a great accomplishment because this is the tournament of all tournaments.”
Gregory made two shootout saves, including the key on Peurifoy’s bid on the fourth turn. The Warriors keeper made a diving stop of a shot Peurifoy ticketed for the low left corner.
Emma Coen, freshman Jesse Dooley and Carolina Smith were the successful Raptors in the shootout.