SOUTH CHINA — Erskine goalie Paige Leary said she enjoyed Friday’s penalty kick shootout at the end of the Eagles’ Eastern A girls soccer prelim game against Cony. It showed.

Leary made a sensational diving save on Cony’s third attempt in the penalty shootout to help Erskine to a 2-1 win in an Eastern Maine Class A prelim game.

“That was my favorite thing to do,” Leary said. “There is a lot of pressure in those situations but it is fun.”

No. 7 Erskine Academy (9-4-2) will now play at No. 2 Brunswick (14-0-0) in the quarterfinals Tuesday. The Dragons defeated Erskine 5-0 in South China in the second game of the season. No. 10 Cony ends the season 7-8-0.

“We knew we were on even terms with Cony and that it was going to be a tough game,” Erskine Academy coach Ryan Nored said. “Penalty kicks were a fitting way to decide it.”

After an exciting, fast-paced game in regulation, Erskine tested the Cony defense with a barrage of shots in the two-15 minute sudden-victory overtime periods. The Eagles had a convincing 12-1 shot advantage in overtime but could put nothing past Cony keeper, Autumn Sudsbury, who was spectacular.


In the shootout, Cony scored on its first two shots (Josie Lee and Emily Quirion) but then Leary flashed to her right to make a sensational diving save on the third attempt. Erskine scored on its first three shots (Kelly McCormac, Bridget Humphrey and Avery Bond) all going to the right corner.

Cony fired over the top on its fourth and fifth attempts, sending Erskine to the quarterfinal round.

Annie Brannigan nearly gave the Rams the lead 18 minutes into the game, when she unleashed a shot from distance that hit the right post and rolled back across the goalmouth. Brannigan raced to the ball, tipped it towards goal but Leary scrambled across the line in time to make the save.

“We showed segments of time during the game where we played very well,” Cony coach Jeff Hersey said. “Our girls gave it their best effort.”

Erskine took a 1-0 lead just before halftime when Baylee Doughty curled a corner kick to the near post. Bond dusted off a pair of Cony defenders driving the ball into the net from five yards with 4:09 left in the first half.

Rebecca Reed and Taylor Bailey lead a strong passing game for Erskine, while the defensive unit of Courtney Bonsant, Humphrey, Lariah Langis, Hannah Bridges, Abigail Glidden and Tasha Dutil shut down Cony’s attack for most of the game.

“We were talking a lot on defense, trying to make sure everyone was on someone,” Bonsant said. “Cony was aggressive coming after the ball, so we started passing the ball out of the back to start the offense.”

Cony turned to an up-tempo attack and started to apply pressure as time wound down in regulation. Running down the middle of the field, Olivia Deeves slipped a pass to the feet of Lee at the top of the 18. Lee spun on the ball, belting a low drive into the right side of the goal to tie the game with 2:15 left.


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