Rockdale's girls soccer had no shot at making the state playoffs Wednesday, but that didn't stop them from closing out the season with a 1-0 (3-1) win in penalty kicks over rival Newton.
Despite not scoring in regulation and the two overtime periods, the Lady Bulldogs did just enough in penalty kicks, topping the
Lady Rams, 3-1, in the shootout.
The boys weren't so fortunate. They too went to a penalty kick shootout after a ferocious second-half comeback to tie the game at 3-3 only to fall 4-3 (4-2). The Bulldogs will, however, play in next week's state tournament.
Girls: Rockdale 1, Newton 0 (3-1 on penalty kicks)
Rockdale's girls controlled the ball for the majority of the game but were unable to find the back of the net in regulation. After a scoreless pair of overtime periods, it came down to PKs and the Lady Bulldogs were up to the task.
"The girls did exactly what we told them to do it was just one of those games where we hit the post or the side of the net," Rockdale girls' coach Greg Duffey said. "We were doing things we wanted to but the end result wasn't there."
After missing their first shot, the Lady Bulldogs reeled off three straight PK goals to seal the win. Meghan Meyers, Emily Miller and Erin Hardnett each scored to propel Rockdale to the win.
"At halftime I told them to believe in themselves and stay positive and believe that we were going to win," Duffey said. "There is a lot of rivalry between us and Newton. We're very glad to have beaten them today. I was proud of our effort."
Boys: Newton 4 (4-2), Rockdale 3
Rockdale's boys will play in the state playoffs next week even though they finished the regular season on a disappointing note. Disappointing only because they rallied from a 3-0 halftime deficit to tie the game with 5:08 left on Shane Woodruff's 35-yard penalty kick blast.
Newton jumped out to the early lead behind two goals from Ousmane Dogo and one from Jean Frimpong. But the second half belonged to the Bulldogs who scored two quick goals before Woodruff's equalizer late in the match.
"It was an exciting game," Rockdale coach Alf Holst said. "We should have won it in PKs but my hat's off to Newton. They came out to play."
The Rams were the aggressors in the first half, taking a 3-0 lead just 20 minutes into the game. But the second half was a different story.
"We had a garbage first half. I think because we beat them once early in the season, my boys weren't prepared to see this new look Newton team," Holst said. "They developed well since then. We just didn't put away our chances. But we made that comeback in the second half and I'm very proud of my boys for that."
Harrison Stamps scored first for Newton in PKs before Frimpong and Dogo added goals. On the flip side, Rockdale missed its first two PKs and trailed 3-0. Rockdale's Jesse Woodruff scored on his attempt to make it a 3-1 game then Dominic Dixon made it 3-2. Carlvon Betts finished it off for Newton on his attempt for the 4-2 win.
"It's soccer. Our PK showing wasn't very good tonight," Holst said. "It is what it is. The better team won tonight but I am proud of my guys because usually we fall down in the second half. We don't play as well. But that was a good showing and I'm pleased with how they fought back."