Girls’ soccer advances on OT goal

1-0 win propels team to semifinal


Tobias Khabie

Junior Anna Williams fights for the ball in a sections game against Southwest Oct. 14. Park won the matchup 1-0 in overtime.

Tobias Khabie

With the scoreboard remaining unchanged all game, sophomore Hanna Wilsey said she knew she had to do something to break the defensive battle. With under two minutes left in sudden death overtime, Wilsey got her chance to make an impact, and she took it.

“I knew I needed to just get a goal, because it was now or never,” Wilsey said. 

Wilsey was able to put the ball in the net, ending a defensive clash against Minneapolis Southwest Oct. 7. According to senior goalie Sophia Romero, who achieved a shutout, communication was key for the stellar defensive performance.

“We were doing a really good job of communicating, Ryan (Rasmussen) was instructing everyone what to do and I was helping Ryan with that, and overall we were really connected,” Romero said. 

Head coach Anne Beaton said as the game progressed, she made on-field adjustments to ensure Park could keep possession of the ball, a task the team struggled with early on. 

Park was having trouble maintaining possession on offense despite winning many contested battles for the ball throughout the game until on-field adjustments were made.

“In the second half and overtime we were winning the ball, but our forward needed to come back and help us maintain possession,” Beaton said. “The people I put in at the end did that for us, and we were able to keep possession.”

After regulation ended in a 0-0 tie, the game went into a sudden death overtime. Romero said it was crucial for her to keep calm and stay focused as she knows many of her teammates would follow suit.

I knew I needed to just get a goal, because it was now or never.”

— Hanna Wilsey

“A lot of people looked to me, so I tried to remain as calm as possible, calm and focused,” Romero said. “I make sure everybody’s on their A-game, it’s the time to go as hard as you can.”

As time winded down in the overtime period and it seemed as if the game would go to a shootout, Park made one last effort to score. With 1:43 left, Wilsey delivered what she said is the biggest goal of her soccer career.

“I was holding my breath and when it went in, it was just so much joy,” Wilsey said. “It was definitely the happiest moment of my life.”

Park’s victory will set the team up against first seeded Hopkins. Beaton said the team has learned throughout the season to focus on their own skills and be confident in their talent.

“I’ve been telling them ever since we’ve played Washburn: stop thinking about the other team,” Beaton said. “We know what we’re doing.”

Park will look to utilize that strategy against Hopkins when the teams face off at 1 p.m. Oct. 16 at Hopkins High School.