After 80 minutes of quality scoring chances, even greater saves, injuries and frustrated coaches, the only thing lacking from Timpview's game against Lone Peak Tuesday was a chaotic goal celebration.
Twenty minutes later, there was enough post-goal dancing going on to satisfy even soccer naysayers.The third-ranked Thunderbirds captured their sixth straight region crown after scoring three overtime goals, surviving a scare from the Knights, 3-2.
"We knew it was going to be close," Timpview coach Jim Davis said. "They're a tough team."
But nobody, including Davis, expected a 0-0 regulation game, and then for that same game to suddenly become a festival of goals minutes later.
Analyn Skabelund finally lit the scoreboard in overtime after knocking home a corner kick from Kelly Hunsberger.
Minutes later, Paula Duris broke free from the defense, a welcome sight for Duris considering the Knights' fullbacks had bottled her up all afternoon. Unfortunately for Duris, her 15-yard shot was rejected by Lone Peak keeper Jennifer Eldredge, but Rachel Hardie was right there to pound home the rebound.
Davis was anything but relieved. A two-goal lead in soccer is considered the most dangerous because that's when relaxation sets in. Trailing 2-0, the Knight's exposed Timpview's premature enthusiasm with two quick goals to start the second overtime by Farrah Hof-heins and Kortni Palmer.
"We didn't relax, they just came out with a lot of fire," Davis said.
During a game in which bodies were flying and fouls were abundant, it was not surprising that with the score suddenly knotted up again, both sides started blocking out the leg-burning fatigue.
"We really picked up our intensity because we wanted to win in regulation," Duris said. "In shootouts you get lucky when you win."
Though dreaded, the penalty kicks seemed inevitable. Davis was sweating slightly more than normal with each passing second considering his starting keeper was forced to leave the game after an inadvertent cleat to the thigh in the second half.
Lone Peak clearly would've had the advantage in net in the event of the shootout, which would've happened if overtimes were nine minutes instead of 10.
With time dwindling away, Duris suddenly found herself in that same unfamiliar position: ball at her feet, clear run at the goal and only a goalie in her way. This time she didn't miss. Duris placed the ball perfectly past Eldredge's lunging right hand for the game winner.
Timpview remains perfect in Region 6 with a 12-0 mark, while Lone Peak drops to 9-3.