It took regulation, two overtimes, and two sets of penalty kicks before a veteran Broad Run team was able to dispatch Albemarle. In the end, the Spartans were able to leave town with a regional playoff victory and their season still alive.
Caroline Kerns scored two goals in regulation and went 2-for-2 on penalty kicks, including the decisive one, to lead Broad Run to the win after the teams finished 80 minutes and a pair of extra periods knotted at 2-2.
“It's heartbreaking for us,” Albemarle coach Jon Hall said. “The kids fought hard all year long, but you can't take anything away from Broad Run. They are very strong and have a team that's been here a few times, so they are used to it. We're still pretty new to playing at this level.”
The Patriots, who lose just four seniors off the back-to-back Commonwealth District champions, looked like the team with regional playoff experience early on. Megan Schnell got Albemarle on the board in the first half. By the time Maggie Tubridy, who finished with a goal and an assist, scored off a corner kick from Ali Starr in the second half, the Patriots had what appeared to be a commanding 2-0 lead.
But the Spartans had a rally in them, and Kerns was able to take advantage of a pair of assists from Cassie Smith and send the game to overtime.
“They outplayed us in the first half,” Broad Run coach Claire Collins said. “The last ten minutes of regulation they realized that if we lost, our season was over. They realized the importance of such a do-or-die situation. It says a lot about the character of our team.”
Neither team was able to get much going against the other in the overtimes and each made four of five attempts in the first penalty kick rotation. The second time through, Kerns was able to get a goal to the top right corner before Broad Run goalkeeper Haley Casanova made the game-winning save.
“It's such an awful way for a team to lose on PK's,” Collins said. “But obviously it was a great way for us to win on PK's.”