PEDRO — Postseason soccer has a habit of ensuring dramatic finishes.
After neither team managed a goal during the first 80 minutes of play, Minford and Rock Hill each re-took the field for the ensuing overtime period — knowing that the game’s first score would solidify the victor in their hard-fought Division III sectional final.
That game-winner was scored by Minford sophomore Haley Knore, less than three minutes into the first overtime — sending her team into the district tournament and into a feeling of pure jubilation.
Lady Falcons coach Shane Tieman said following the win that his team’s focus coming into the sectional final was on playing with fire and as a team — both goals he felt they achieved.
“We wanted to come out and play angry — in control, but angry and hard,” Tieman said. “I think we did that. There was no quit in them tonight. They had that fire in their belly — they just really played as a team.”
Knore’s game-winner was set up by a corner kick taken by sophomore Mychal Cron, who sent the ball into the box and which was knocked around before ultimately finding itself at Knore’s feet.
It was the 34th goal of Knore’s young Minford career, which is quickly reaching its midway point.
During the Lady Falcons’ 7-0 win over Portsmouth West on Oct. 3, Knore broke the Lady Falcons’ single-season scoring record with her 29th goal (and counting) of the season.
However, it will be quite hard to top both the importance and ensuing celebration of goal No. 34 in Pedro on Thursday night.
“That corner kick, I talked to Mychal Cron before and told her take your time, you got this,” Knore said. “Amazing kick from her. Autumn Picklesimer in the back came up for it, I was just there at the right place, right time to kick it in.”
The Lady Falcons’ 1-0 win over the Redwomen was also their second shutout victory of their 2020 campaign — the other coming in the aforementioned win over the Lady Senators.
Minford sophomore goalkeeper Neveah Porter had 10 saves on Rock Hill’s 11 shots on goal — as she and her fellow Lady Falcon defenders drew the praise of Tieman after holding a nine-win Rock Hill team scoreless through 83 minutes of play.
“We knew that Bri (Reynolds) was going to be tough, she’s a beast. We knew we had to dedicate someone to be on her, so we had Gracyn Coriell and then for awhile Autumn Picklesimer mark up on her,” Tieman said. “The rest of the defense just had to play straight up, so she didn’t think she would be marked by just one person. We were able to play some great team defense, get some key clears. Neveah Porter, first year starting in goal and she’s really embraced that position.”
Another win for Minford means another week of practices in preparation for its next contest — a Division III district semifinal against top-seeded Lynchburg-Clay on Tuesday (Oct. 27).
The Lady Falcons (7-6-3) will be playing in their first district semifinal game since 2017 — a fact that no doubt makes another week of preparation for win-or-go-home soccer that much more enjoyable.
“Very happy,” Knore said. “Excited to get back to practice.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved