Emma Thompson picked the right time to have one of the best games in her soccer career.
The Indian Land goalkeeper stopped 13 shots in regulation and overtime and then turned away Elizabeth McGee’s shot in penalty kicks to help the Warriors to a 2-1 (5-3 in PKs) over Brookland-Cayce on Saturday in the Class 3A state championship at Irmo’s W.C. Hawkins Stadium.
It was the Warriors’ first state championship and they were making their first championship appearance.
“It was just an intense game all together, going down to penalty kicks,” Thompson said. “It was very nerve racking but it was a weight lifted when I got that stop.”
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Thompson, who entered the game with 15 shutouts, was outstanding after giving up a goal to McGee in the 11th minute to give B-C a 1-0 lead. Indian Land tied it two minutes later on a breakaway by Kelsey Long. The junior midfielder played on and off rest of the game through injuries.
The Bearcats kept Thompson and the Warriors’ defense on their toes. B-C out-shot Indian Land 21-7 and had numerous good looks at the goal.
“This was her best game all season,” Indian Land coach Mark Bonda said. “She had 15 shutouts in the regular season but nothing like this against this team with the fan base.”
Indian Land scored on all five penalty shots, including the clinching one by Emily Gerdes.
“As coaches we felt we did as good as we could to prepare them for this situation and they had to execute,” Bonda said. “But there is this calm, confidence that the kids had all week and they went out and executed.”
B-C played the game without all-state goalkeeper Alyssa Stevens, who tore her ACL in the lower state final Monday against Bishop England. Freshman Charlotte Teeter started in goal and played well in the 110 minutes of regulation and overtimes.
But coach Emily Heise put Shannon Favor in for penalty kicks. She thought the moment might be too big for Teeter and said they practice the situation with Favor in that spot.
The loss ends Heise’s career with the Bearcats. She is leaving to take the Gray Collegiate girls soccer job with her husband Kevin Heise, who will be the boys coach and resigned last month.
“If this team doesn’t know life isn’t fair at times, just watch that game,” Heise said.
“Nobody deserved a state championship more than this girls or this program. I could think of 93,000 reasons why they deserved it over any other team. Unfortunately, it wasn’t our day. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out for the team, not matter how much heart and effort you put it into it.”