They were down three starters and down on the scoreboard Friday night against Lucy Beckham, but the Bluffton Bobcats refused to give in, rallying to force overtime before winning in a penalty shootout.
Micaelann Gies drilled in the equalizer with 17 minutes left, and Serena Miller buried the penalty shootout winner after a 1-1 stalemate to complement a dazzling performance from goalkeeper Chapelyn Terodemos and push Bluffton girls soccer past visiting Lucy Beckham on Friday.
“They dug down deep and found something in their hearts to keep pushing through,” Bluffton head coach Brian McCarthy said. “It’s good for the girls to understand that we are a team and everyone picks each other up and fights on.”
After falling behind the Bengals 1-0 in the first half, the Bobcats struggled early to string together passes and create scoring chances in the second. But that all changed in the 63rd minute, as Elizabeth Rios roped a pass to Gies, who sizzled a strike to the top left corner. The Bengals pushed to take the lead back as the half wound down, but Terodemos had the answer for every bid down the stretch. A late Bengal shot wide off a corner and a mishandled pass in the final minutes pushed the contest to extra time.
The thin and fatigued Bobcats battled hard in the extra 10 minutes, showing their defensive tenacity by clogging up passing lanes and blocking shots. Lucy Beckham caught a golden break in the 87th minute as the ball found Cameron Foley, who won a battle against a defender and scampered to the net. Foley had Terodemos beat, but the freshman pushed it just wide of the net to keep the match tied, sending the region battle to a penalty shootout.
The Bobcats grabbed an immediate advantage with a Leyla Dubs goal into the left corner, and Terodemos made a dazzling save on the first Bengal shot to take the upper hand. Laura Middleton followed up her teammate with a successful strike into the net before a miss high on Bluffton’s third attempt allowed the Bengals to even things up. But Anna Parrott drilled a shot off the keeper and into the net, and Lucy Beckham sailed one over the bar to set up Miller’s game-winning try. With ice in her veins, the sophomore ripped the ball into the twine to finish off the Bengals.
Terodemos was sensational in net for the Bobcats, racking up 16 saves in the match.
“Chapelyn is the amazing goalie,” McCarthy said. “I told her before the penalty kicks that I wouldn’t want anyone else in my goal.”
The Bobcats were back at it midday Saturday, but they didn’t have their legs early in the matinee, and Alabama Class 7A Hoover scored twice in the first half and kept the clean sheet for a 2-0 win.
Bluffton (8-2, 5-2) hosts region rival Beaufort High on Tuesday.
By Wes Kerr / Photo by Justin Jarrett
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