The Pinewood Prep Girls Soccer team defeated visiting Cardinal Newman 2-1 in overtime May 9 to return to the SCISA AAA state championship game.
Early in the second half of a state semi-final match, Pinewood goalkeeper Grace Powell leaped up to punch a ball over the cross bar for an athletic save to keep the match scoreless. However, a Cardinal Newman player bent a shot out of Powell’s reach soon after for a 1-0 Cardinal Newman lead with approximately 37 minutes remaining.
Pinewood answered with less than 12 minutes left on the clock. Riley Cox sent in a corner kick that bounced right in front of the goal. Eighth-grader Jessica Osborne then headed the ball into the net to tie the game.
“All year we have been working on the mental side of the game,” Pinewood coach Gail Osborne said. “We’ve been talking about if you go down a goal don’t give up, keep working and fighting. I knew we had it in us. We have had that kind of grit in us all year.”
That capped the scoring during regulation.
Less than two minutes into the second overtime period, Pinewood senior Abbey Martichenko received a pass in front of the goal and landed a shot for the game-winning goal.
“That goal in overtime was huge,” Osborne said. “We have been joking all year about Abbey Martichenko scoring and she scored in the most important game. I think that was her second goal of the season.”
Pinewood will face Porter-Gaud in the state title game at 3 p.m. at Porter-Gaud. Last year, the Cyclones edged out the Panthers in the state championship game in Columbia. This year, Pinewood and Porter-Gaud split their regular-season matches with the Cyclones winning 1-0 and the Panthers winning the rematch 2-0.
“It’s going to be a battle,” Coach Osborne said. “They are struggling to score and we are struggling to score so I think it will be a very defensive game.”
The last time the Pinewood Girls won a state soccer championship was 2015.