If ThunderRidge junior Katherine Stanley didn't believe in second chances, she does now after facing Mountain Vista in a Continental League soccer game.
A scoreless tie after regulation sent the match, which was played March 28 on a cold, rainy night at Shea Stadium, into overtime. Stanley had an open shot early in the extra session but her attempt sailed high.
Minutes later, the forward didn't miss on a second chance and her goal in the sixth minute of the overtime gave the Grizzlies a 1-0 victory in the contest of neighborhood rivals.
“In the first five minutes of overtime, I had an open shot, I took it and it went right over the goalkeeper's head,” Stanley said.
On her second opportunity, she took a pass from Alexis Wessler and beat Mountain Vista's freshman keeper Baileigh Baker, who was playing in place of regular goalie Kylee Love, who was sick.
“We just kind of worked our way up the field, and it was passed to me," Stanley said. "There was an open opportunity and I took it.”
The win in the league opener over the Golden Eagles, who were ranked sixth in the CHSAANow.com Class 5A poll, improved ThunderRidge's overall record to 4-2-0.
“We only have three seniors, so we are a young team and I think we are going to do really good this season because we've already connected and found that bond,” Stanley said.
“This was a great kickoff to the league season with Vista being our rival and hardest opponent. I felt like we were attacking more in the second half and working more as team by connecting passes. Maybe we were a little more nervous and didn't come out as strong in the beginning.”
Mountain Vista saw its overall record slip to 2-2-0.
“It was a great game,” Golden Eagles coach Theresa Echtermeyer said. “Those are good games to have early in the season to test your team. It gives you things to go back and work on. I'm proud of the way the girls played. There were tough elements for both teams and it was a well-fought match.
“I'm excited to see what the season brings us. This team, like teams of the past, works very hard and is a very good technical team and very unified group. You know what, having a couple losses doesn't shatter our belief in each other. I expect great things from them throughout the season. It's really early and when it comes time to get the big wins later, then we'll take care of it.”