“I just sprinted in there. It happened it was coming to me. I looked up and I saw (Arianna Kahler), and she yelled for a through, and I just hit it right to her,” Lawrence said.
Kahler redirected the ball to Chase Collier, who returned the favor on a perfect give-and-go and Kahler buried a shot with 9.4 seconds remaining to lift Lisbon to a 2-1 win over Oak Hill and a second regional title in three years.
“It was crazy. I was just so nervous, I didn’t even look at the time,” Lawrence said.
“The thing that surprised me the most was that there were only nine seconds left on the clock,” Kahler added. “I didn’t even know it was going to go in. It just kept rolling and I turned around and heard the whistle (and celebrated). Everyone was like, ‘Did you see the clock?”
“I turned around, and it was awesome,” she said.
The Greyhounds’ (15-2) two losses this season both came to Oak Hill. Counting a win in the Mountain Valley Conference Championship game, they’ve avenged each loss in kind.
“We lost to them 4-0 the first game of the season, didn’t play very well, kind of intimidated by them,” Lisbon coach Julie Petrie said. “Second game it was 2-0, had a couple of … goals go in. Conference championship, we went in just with the goal to score a goal, because we had been shutout for a long time. Once we got that first one, we knew we could do it.”
Oak Hill (15-1-1) suffered its first official setback this season.
“We battled all day. We just really wanted to be able to play a better passing game than we did,” Gilbert said. “We didn’t spread it out enough today. These girls, they played their heart and souls out. They’ve done it all year long, and I couldn’t be more proud of this group of ladies than I am.”
It was Oak Hill that struck first. After weathering an early Lisbon surge, the Raiders controlled the second part of the first half. They carried that momentum into the second half. Kylee Veilleux redirected a blast from the top of the circle by Hayley Marshall past keeper Victoria Swan with 24:26 remaining to put the top seed in front 1-0.
The Raiders’ celebration stirred the Greyhounds’ emotions.
“It really fired us up when they started cheering,” Lawrence said. “We all looked at each other, and we knew we had to do it.”
Lisbon wasted little time. Just 1:28 later, sophomore Kate Philbrick converted on a feed from Kahler in front of Oak Hill keeper Megan Labbe to knot the game at 1-1.
“I thought we started out strong and then we had a lapse for a few minutes,” Petrie said. “They scored and I kind of saw our heads hang for a second. But I’d told them today, no matter who scores first, keep our heads up and gain the momentum whichever way it goes and just never give up.”
Most of the play through the rest of regulation was played between the 25-yard lines, setting up the first of a pair of seven-on-seven overtimes.
It was advantage Oak Hill in the initial extra frame. The Raiders thought they’d won on a pair of hard shots in tight on Swan. But the senior keeper turned both offerings aside, with a little help from her back line.
“It was there, and then it wasn’t,” Gilbert said. “Their defender was there in the right position and she helped stop it on the line. We had a few shots, we dominated that first overtime, we just couldn’t finish.”
“They’re fast, they’re quick and they have great shots,” Petrie said. “Our goalie did amazing today. When we went into the second OT, I told them, ‘Listen, they have the momentum right now. We need to pick it up, play stronger, play to the ball and get going.'”
“(Petrie), she really motivates us and puts a fire under our butts,” Lawrence said. “She said it’s do or die, and we just had to do it.”
Lisbon turned the tables in the second OT. Allison Bubar started what turned into the final push for the Greyhounds with a great individual effort, dribbling into the Oak Hill circle.
The ensuing Oak Hill clearing attempt appeared to hit Lawrence coming off the bench in stride. Lawrence took care of the rest with her feed to Kahler.
“That’s how we’ve been trying to get our mojo going,” Petrie said. “We had a great practice (Thursday), we played really well at Yarmouth, and we told them, “This is how we win. We pass it by people, we’re not selfish, pass and find the open teammate. That’s the result.”
“We have to trust each other,” Kahler said. “We started playing selfish ball in the beginning of the season because we weren’t used to each other. There was a newness, but we learned that when we work together, these kind of things happen.”