Truman girls soccer midfielder Katie Black is known for her big leg and making long-distance shots.
But since Truman’s game with crosstown rival Fort Osage went to a shootout, she decided to try a bit more of a feathery touch to her kick. She managed to tap a penalty kick inside the right post for the winning score as the host Patriots outscored the Indians 4-2 in penalty kicks to claim a 1-0 victory Thursday.
“With PKs, with how we practice them, is we don’t want too much power on them, because if you kick it too hard it’s going to go wide or over the top,” Black said. “If you go nice and easy and to the corner, it will go in hopefully.”
Charlie Burton, Kali Christman and Bailey Toczek also made penalty kicks for Truman (5-6). Megan Lyon and Elisah Miller scored on their PKs for the Indians.
Black wouldn’t have been in position to win the game for Truman if it wasn’t for the play of goalkeeper Jessica Curtis, who made two spectacular diving saves during the shootout. She stonewalled a pair of shots from Kelsi Schaberg and Karlee Tatum on a pair of diving stops.
“My coach taught me that they’ll go to a certain spot and typically they will go to their best side,” Curtis said of her approach to shootouts. “I kind of just guessed (where the ball would go). The spirit and everyone being crazy and excited helped get me under control, so I could breathe and stop every ball.”
In an evenly-matched contest, Truman came up big on defense. Curtis had five saves on the night but credited her performance to her back line led by Alize Becerra.
“I can’t thank my back line enough; they saved my butt tonight,” Curtis said.
Fort Osage controlled the second half after winning the shot on goal advantage 4-2. Lyon had a pair of open shots near the top of the penalty box but Curtis was able to knock away both. Curtis also made a heads-up play when Bailee Summers received a through pass inside the penalty box, but Curtis was able to dive and collect the ball, tripping up the Fort attacker. A pair of breakaway chances for the Indians (10-3) also were thwarted by the back line.
“Our back line did a great job,” Truman coach Manny Tovar said. “Alize had her best game of the year and kept No. 31 (Megan Lyon) – I am assuming that is their top goal scorer – in check. She didn’t let (Lyon) get around her and she was physical. Overall our defense did really well.”
Truman controlled the first half by having four shots on goal to one for Fort Osage. Black launched a booming 40-yard shot early in the first but Indians goalkeeper McKenzie Lyon was able to get in front of it and knock it away with her feet. Lyon also stopped a shot from Reagan Link on a diving attempt.
“You’re disappointed that you lose the PK shootout, but we won one Saturday,” said Fort Osage coach Andrew Fletcher. “ I really enjoyed the game. It was a good one.”
This was just the win Truman needed after going on a four-game losing streak before picking up a win over St. Joseph Central prior to Thursday’s game.
“I think this is going to keep our spirits high,” Curtis said. “I don’t think we’ll go back to that rough patch. We had it and we are done with it.”