Liberty Hill outlasts Boerne in penalty-kick filled area round match
By TAYLOR GRAFT
DRIPPING SPRINGS — The Liberty Hill Panthers defeated the Boerne Greyhounds in a penalty shootout last Thursday night in Dripping Springs 2-2 (4-2 penalties).
Twice in the match the Panthers founds themselves trailing and needing a goal to keep their season alive.
Boerne was awarded a penalty with 23 minutes remaining in the second half after a slide tackle inside the box. The Boerne player finished from the spot and gave his team a 1-0 advantage.
Liberty Hill immediately responded two minutes later off a free kick. The Panthers scrambled in the box to connect with the kick and it was Joey Kipfer who was finally able to put the ball into the net for the equalizer.
With the teams tied 1-1 going into extra time, both teams were hungry to find the winning goal. Boerne thought they had the winner when they scored in the first five minutes of the first extra time. They were awarded their second penalty of the match, which resulted in a 2-1 lead.
A little more than two minutes later, Liberty Hill responded again with their backs against the wall. Joseph Serio played a ball into the box off a free kick and Kale Sudderth’s glancing header tied the game, 2-2.
After 100 minutes of play neither team could be separated, resulting in a penalty shootout. The Panthers made their first three penalties, while Liberty Hill goalie Caleb Knight stopped the Greyhounds’ second penalty try. Both teams failed to find the back of the net on their fourth attempts, with both keepers making great saves to deny their opponents. Serio sealed the win as the Panthers’ fifth penalty taker when he finished bottom right and gave his team the win.
Knight reflected on stopping the Greyhounds two penalties and what goes through his mind during those pressure situations.
“I try to stay focused,” Knight said. “I try to stay focused on the ball, and only on what’s in front of me, and only what I can control. As far as letting penalties get by you, you’re lucky to save them. You have to go with the flow and if one gets by, you can’t put your head down. In penalty kicks, it’s important that you stay composed.”