E’town forces overtime, loses on PKs to Bardstown in region semifinals

Elizabethtown's Kristen Swiney clashes with Bardstown's Sophia Sharp for possession of the ball during Tuesday's 5th Region Tournament semifinal game. Swiney scored late in the second half to send the game into overtime, where the Lady Panthers lost on penalty kicks.

After 90 minutes of play plus a penalty kick shootout, Elizabethtown girls’ soccer’s 2021 season came to a close at home Tuesday night. Taking on Bardstown in the 5th Region Tournament semifinals, the region tournament host Lady Panthers tied the game with less than five minutes to go in the second half before falling to the defending 5th Region champion Lady Tigers 2-1 following the penalty kick round.

“It’s a little game of momentum. When we started out, I think we had the first 20 minutes and then we started getting back on our heels the last 20 minutes of the first half,” Elizabethtown coach Pat Black said. “We came out in the second half and I thought we really pushed them, pushed them, pushed them. Both teams were equally matched, we finally got that goal back, worked through overtimes and then just PKs were not our friend. It’s just sort of a crapshoot from there.”

Kadence Walls put Bardstown up 1-0 on a goal with 20:24 left in the first half. Elizabethtown was unable to respond before the first half’s conclusion and went into the break still trailing by a goal.

The Lady Panthers spent the majority of the second half still down 1-0. With 4:05 left in regulation, Kristen Swiney kept Elizabethtown’s tournament hopes alive by nailing a 32-yard free kick into the back of the net for the equalizer. Neither team scored again through the second half’s remainder, sending the game into overtime at 1-1.

After two overtime periods and no game-winning score, the game advanced to penalty kicks. A pair of misses cost the Lady Panthers, while Bardstown didn’t miss a shot to take the shootout 4-3 and win the game by a score of 2-1.

Following the game, Swiney and Elizabethtown keeper Emma Grimm were named to the 5th Region Tournament All-Tournament team.

The loss ended the Lady Panthers’ season with a 16-5-1 overall record and an 11-2 record against region opponents.

“They’re a young team, so we’re starting a lot of freshmen and a lot of sophomores. We lose a few seniors, but basically we’ll have the main nucleus of our club back,” Black said of next year’s team. “The future looks good for the next few years, but it stings a little bit. We felt like we sort of had the momentum going and then it just didn’t swing our way.”

Matt Tyson can be reached at 270-505-1425 or mtyson@thenewsenterprise.com.

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