By Will Simmons
Charleston tied Mt. Zion late but could not make enough penalty kicks to win their consolation final game in the St. Teresa girls soccer tournament Wednesday night.
Charleston had shown more team cohesion than in its season-opener, with an impressive second-half momentum shift and goal that put the team even with Mt. Zion through regulation time.
Charleston could not match the Braves at the PK line, falling behind 2-0 though two attempts. Senior Logan Webster then drilled a confident shot that flew just above the ground, past an outstretched goalie and into the back of the goal.
Webster said she relished the opportunity.
“My freshman year I actually missed the penalty,” Webster said. “This is my first time actually coming back and finally making. It only took me four years.”
But the Braves then buried the next kick to clinch with one shot remaining.
CHS coach Ali Gowan said the girls felt more comfortable playing as a unit for their second game.
“We came out more as a team, just collectively played really well,” Gowan said. “We had a lot more communication and a lot better possession, especially in our own attacking half.”
Mt. Zion had kept attacking before wearing down Charleston’s defense towards the end of the first half. Mt. Zion went ahead 1-0 after the team’s striker overtook a Trojan defender down the sideline to win the ball, and found herself alone in the penalty area for the score.
The assault was short-lived, however.
The Trojans only waited a minute into the second half to try some attacking of their own; they kept the pressure in Mt. Zion’s side field for nearly 10 minutes.
Freshman forward Hadley Webb scored the equalizer in the second half.
Webb said she felt good about the shot after it fell into her path from midfielder Mia Hinds, who had managed to guide the ball after colliding with a defender. Webb fired the one-touch shot from the far side of the penalty area, with a defender at her side, and into the arms of an off-balance goalie. As the ball rolled up the goalkeeper’s arms, she released it to catch herself while falling backwards. The ball rolled past the goal line, almost in slow-motion.
Neither team could score again in regulation, forcing the penalty kick format.
The Trojans play their home opener against Champaign Central next Monday.