After a long and cold night, it was the Ramsey Rams who came out on top in the North 1, Group 2 state sectional finals against Jefferson’s Lady Falcons soccer team. After a 3-3 tie in regulation, Ramsey sealed it with a 4-3 penalty kick victory on Thursday, November 7.
In a game that lived up to the hype, Ramsey was able to steal the nail-biter victory. Caroline Schwanewede was the hero for the Rams, getting them the lead early, as well as finishing the game with the final penalty kick and the Rams’ win. For Jefferson, it was Kayla Barbosa leading the scoring, showing off her big left for two long-distance goals.
Right off the bat, the scoring opened up for both teams. Within three minutes, the Rams struck first with a goal off the foot of Helene Tyburczy and a quick 1-0 lead. However, J-Town would not go unanswered for long. Less than a minute later, Barbosa scorched another long-distance dead ball snipe into the back of the net, equalizing the game at one.
With twenty minutes remaining in the half, the scoring resumed for the Rams, when Schwanewede struck for the first time on her clutch night. The Falcons would quickly get a chance to answer prior to the half closing, however Erin Mallory missed wide and sent the Falcons into halftime trailing 2-1.
To start the second half, Ramsey came running out of the gate, as Tyburczy struck again, giving the Rams a two-goal lead. However, the goal was called back for an offside penalty prior to the goal, and the score remained 2-1 Ramsey. Shortly after the call back, Alexis Barrow made up for the offsides with a true goal of her own, off of a great pass from Maya Bender. The Rams seemed to hold full control.
With 18 minutes remaining, the Falcons flipped the script. Barbosa lined up for another dead ball kick, which she has maintained so much success with throughout the season. She scored another “Barbosa Bomb,” trimming the Ramsey lead down to one. Less than a minute later, the Falcons continued their comeback when Madison Eisele finished another goal off a beautiful feed from Julz Aromin, knotting the score at three apiece. The Falcons’ momentum would stop there. For the remainder of the half, both J-Town and Ramsey were unable to get anything going offensively, forcing overtime.
The defenses stepped up big time in overtime. Neither team was able to get something going on the offensive end, leading into another ten-minute sudden death battle.
The second overtime involved much more havoc. In the first minute the Rams pushed down the field, forcing a good shot on net. After a bobble, Jefferson goalie Leah Demko was able to gather and fall on it, saving the Falcons’ season. With just five minutes remaining in the overtime period, Jefferson’s top scorer, Lindsay Mullin, had a break on the ball. After a juke, she seemed to have lost the goalie and have an open net. One tough touch led Mullin too far towards the left side, making her push the empty net shot just inches wide of the goal.
Quickly after the Rams loss scare, they attempted their own push. Chloe Gavalakis had one-one-one with Demko at the net; however, was steered aside by Demko with a fantastic stop. The play was not yet done, as Demko’s block trickled back out to Gavalakis, giving her another opportunity. Demko wasn’t having it, as she dove low for the ball, causing Gavalakis to miss wide left and forcing the game into penalty kicks.
The Falcons had the first turn in penalties and responded positively, as Eisele tallied her second goal of the night, beating Ramsey goalie Emily Peters down low for the goal. Demko would then keep the Falcons up stopping the first Rams shooter, Tyburczy, and giving J-Town momentum.
Senior Olivia Oberman would not squander that excitement as she went to the right side, beating Peters again and keeping the Falcons’ hopes high in penalties.
The next Rams shooter would not be denied as Olivia Molinari finished in the top left corner, getting Ramsey on the board.
Moments later, Jefferson’s cold-blooded freshman Bryn Fitzgerald added a goal to her resume, taking a 3-1 advantage in PKs.
Now the Rams flipped a switch that would not be turned off as Gavalakis located a perfect shot in the bottom left corner for another goal.
After a miss by J-Town and another pinpoint bottom left shot for the Rams, the score was tied at 3-3 in penalties. It all came down to the Falcons’ leading scorer Lindsay Mullin and the Rams’ Schwanewede.
Mullin was first. The Falcon leader fired a good-looking shot, but was turned away by Peters, giving the Rams the advantage.
Schwanewede was then able to cap off the night for Ramsey, as she beat Demko bottom left, giving Ramsey the North 1 Group 2, state sectional title.
Jefferson’s horror continues against Ramsey, after a basketball state championship loss in dramatic fashion back in 2017, a knockout in 2018, and now another tragic loss in the girls’ soccer world. The boys’ soccer squad hopes to get vengeance tomorrow, November 8, as the boys take on Ramsey again on the same stage, the state sectional championship home at The Nest at 2 p.m.