Basketball games end with as many overtime periods as it takes to decide a winner. Baseball goes as many extra innings as it needs to. But soccer has a penalty-kick shootout, and it always leaves a bad taste in the loser’s mouth.
On Saturday at Cosumnes Oaks High, the Davis High girls were the ones with that sour taste. The Blue Devils fought Franklin through scoreless regulation and overtime periods in the Sac-Joaquin Section Championship Contest, only to lose 4-3 in PKs.
With Franklin forwards Lauren Williams and Tatyana Garrett putting the pressure on, the DHS defense needed to be at its best all game long.
The Devil back line, however, got off to a bit of a shaky start with Garrett giving the locals a scare in the 14th minute. But when she mishit a volley that spun out of bounds, Davis had its wake-up call. After that, the defense that has been the Blue Devils’ strength all year — including a playoff run that featured zero opposing goals — was back on track.
DHS had its first good chance in the 23rd minute, when sophomore Jaha McClean found Sophia Hernandez off of a Wildcat turnover. Hernandez performed a nifty touch over FHS center back Aleah Kelley to find a trailing Kalani Ratnasiri, who flicked the ball over Wildcat goalkeeper Marcela Young.
The ball bounced once and Devil fans got to their feet ready to cheer. The second bounce landed tantalizingly close to the Franklin goal, but the ball traveled about a yard wide.
Davis fans stayed on their feet after Brooke Palmer intercepted the ensuing goal kick. Palmer played the ball to Ratnasiri, whose give-and-go with Hernandez got her open for a shot. Ratnasiri got too much of the bottom of the ball however, and her shot skyrocketed over the goal.
As they had in each of the two regular-season matchups — which the two Delta Valley Conference co-champs split — the two heavyweights traded blows throughout the half to enter the break in a scoreless deadlock.
After intermission, the Blue Devils’ came out firing.
In the 45th minute, Palmer won yet another tackle, and hit a left-footed laser that went just a touch too high. Sophomore Renee Schumann then used her athleticism to get into a position to cross, but her pass just missed Ratnasiri.
FHS tried to gain momentum themselves, but were stopped by DHS goalkeeper Maddy Purves, who was phenomenal all night long.
“She had a lot of momentum in goal (Saturday),” said Devil coach Sara Stone. “She had some key saves … She played great.”
In the 50th minute, the Wildcats served up a corner toward Williams, who stands nearly 6-feet tall. But Purves was there, courageously charging out to snatch the ball as soon as it came off of Williams’ head.
It was a similar story on both ends of the field as neither team could convert before regulation time expired. For the Blue Devils, it was often Purves making a nice play to prevent a Franklin finish.
As the teams continued to trade blows in overtime, one was nearly fatal for Davis. Williams headed a ball toward the goal and it got past Purves on the far left post. Local defender Megan Casey jumped up and used her chest to save the goal, but was unable to clear it, leaving it inside of a mob of players from both teams.
Again, it was Purves who swooped in and saved the day for the Devils, as she dove headfirst into the swarm of white and black to pounce on the ball.
As the second overtime period came to a close without a goal to be found, the dreaded shootout followed. Stone selected Jenna Farboud, Casey, Ratnasiri, Clara Goin and Gaby Herrera to take the penalty kicks:
Ratnasiri stepped up first, but her low shot was saved by the long and athletic Young.
After Julia Alltop put one past Purves, and the squads traded two more makes, the Blue Devils found themselves in a 2-1 hole.
Casey next shot seemed perfectly placed to the low left corner, but Young got to the ground quickly and used her fingertips to push the ball just wide.
Still, DHS got a sliver of hope when Garrett missed the following try just wide, but after Farboud and Goin converted, tying the shootout at 3-3, Franklin’s Christiana Atteberry stepped up to the mark.
Her shot went under the outstretched hands of the senior Purves to give the Wildcats their first section title in school history.
“ We’ve gotten here because of (the seniors),” Stone said. “They’ve been stellar this entire year, on and off the field. They kept the team in a positive direction and have gotten us to this point. It’s not the way you want to end your season, but we’re not going to hang our heads and get caught on things that happened.”
Notes: Former DHS boys coach Ashley Yudin was in attendance to watch Stone, his daughter, coach her first section championship contest in just her second year at the helm. Also in the stands was former standout Anna Maria Gilbertson, who plays at Notre Dame. … The Blue Devils will lose eight seniors — Purves, Natalie Ho, Emily Gao, Casey, Kylie Tierney, Farboud, Goin and Makenzie Delaughder — to graduation.