RENO—Spanish Springs certainly had its chances.
In Saturday’s DI North semifinal at North Valleys High, Spanish Springs led Bishop Manogue 1-0 with four minutes to play. The Cougars out-shot the Miners 18-10. They put nine shots on frame to the Miners’ three. And they earned eight more corner kicks.
And yet, they are done.
Bishop Manogue tied the game in the final minutes of regulation before earning a spot in the DI North title game, and a state tournament berth, with a 6-5 victory in penalty kicks.
“I don’t know man. We were the better team for sure,” Spanish Springs coach Mike Faker said. “Maybe nerves got to us. Sometimes the soccer gods don’t go in your favor.”
After neither team found the net in either of the 15-minute golden goal overtime periods, the match was decided in penalty kicks.
Spanish Springs’ Kalli Prendergast tied the shootout at 3-3 after three rounds but in the attempt to make a save, Manogue keeper La-Torae Nixon turned her ankle and had to be carted off. Insert freshman JV call up Ashley Ravencroft.
With the Miners up 6-5 in the seventh round, Ravencroft dove left and denied Kendall Tegins’ attempt to force an eighth round, and denied the Cougars their first trip to state in program history.
“I was shaking,” Ravencroft said. “It happened so fast … I couldn’t even realize it … I really couldn’t imagine this ever happening.”
And it almost didn’t happen.
In the two overtime periods, Spanish Springs out-shot Bishop Manogue 6-2 including a number of near misses.
In the first overtime, senior Makayla Long worked her way into the box and sent a shot two feet over the crossbar. In the second overtime, Allie Lepori broke free for a one-on-one look but her shot squared up the near post.
Manogue senior captain Marin Zaccheo forced overtime with a 20-yard blast inside the far post with just four minutes left in regulation.
Spanish Springs grabbed a 1-0 lead in the final minutes of the first half when Halley Morgan rolled a shot right front of the Miners’ goal and a defender over ran the ball, sending it across the plane.
The Cougars finished the season 15-4-2 after winning the High Desert League title.
“That’s the best we’ve ever done,” Faker said. “We’ve never had the ability to be in a game like this. It’s good to see.”
The Miners improved to 18-3-2 and will play Douglas for the regional title on Monday in Carson.