REDMOND — Two 40-minute halves, two 10-minute overtime periods and one round of penalty kicks were not enough to decide who would advance to the Intermountain Conference tournament championship last week.
Then, in the second round of PKs, Ridgeview sophomore midfielder Hope Williams-Orlando’s attempt got past Redmond goalkeeper Alyssa McConnell to give the Ravens the victory over the Panthers in girls soccer.
“Myself and our other coaches, we saw everything that we have been working towards at this moment,” Ridgeview coach Nic Sedor said last week. “The determination and perseverance they’ve shown, I’m so glad the girls were rewarded with this win. It feels good to come out on top. Redmond is a quality team and they really pushed us.”
The April 6 win was the Ravens’ fourth in a row and first over Redmond this season. Ridgeview finally started to see positive results after starting the season with five losses and two ties. Four of those five losses were decided by one goal — including matches against Summit and Bend High.
“There were a lot of games this season where we felt, ‘Man, these girls deserved this win,’ but it just didn’t come through,” Sedor said. “It finally came through tonight.”
Ridgeview had to come back twice in the match to earn the victory, once in regulation and once during penalty kicks.
Redmond was first on the board with a goal from freshman Jillian Bremont midway through the first half. Less than five minutes later, Ridgeview responded with a goal from Selena Gallacher. There would not be any more goals through regulation and two overtime periods.
The game came down to penalty kicks.
After the first rotation of five, the match remained tied as each team converted three of five PK attempts. McConnell made two saves, giving Rory Eldridge and Dagne Harris opportunities to win the game for the Panthers. Yet, both attempts missed the mark.
Penalty kicks are rare in high school soccer in Oregon. There is no overtime or penalty kicks in regular season games. Only in postseason matches are games decided by penalty kicks — something the Redmond players had not experienced.
“I’m just telling the girls to take a deep breath and place the ball,” said Redmond coach Martha Segura. “Which is not what we did. But that’s OK, you have to find something to learn from every experience. I feel for these girls because they have never had that pressure put on them.”
At the end of the week, Ridgeview beat Hood River Valley 2-0 in the IMC championship match, while Redmond’s best season in recent memory ended abruptly. The Panthers finished 6-2-2 overall.
“It is everything we wanted in a season,” Segura said after the April 6 game. “Coming down to a battle, having to work hard, I’m just so proud of our girls because they played so hard the entire season, with no letdowns. That is the beautiful thing about soccer, you can work so hard and it comes down to PKs and it doesn’t end in your favor. I’m just proud of our season and what we did.”