Brooks' penalty kicks lift Mariners to OT playoff winOceanside nips Gardiner 2-1 in prelim thriller; faces No. 4 Winslow in quarterfinals
Thomaston — The Oceanside girls soccer team and freshman Makenna Brooks certainly got a kick out of a 2-1 overtime victory over Gardiner in a Friday afternoon, Oct. 19 Eastern Class B preliminary round playoff.
That is because Brooks buried two penalty kicks to help lift the No. 5 Mariners (10-3-2) to the exciting victory over the No. 12 Tigers (7-8) amid overcast conditions at Sam Pendleton Field.
Strangely, the game included goals all on penalty kicks, and Caitlin Raye also was a central figure in the wins for the young Mariners, who will advance to play at No. 4 Winslow (11-2-1) in the regional quarterfinals on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 3 p.m.
"I'm so pumped," said Brooks of her two playoff goals. "I really wanted [this game]. At our practice yesterday we really just came together as a team and we knew we had to get this done. Just work as a team, don't give up on each other [and] don't let down. We just all worked together, made the runs and we finished it up."
"It was awesome," said Oceanside coach Darryl Townsend, who was involved in a bundle of overtime games as the former coach of Georges Valley High School. "Last night we had the best practice we've had all year. Everyone was really focused, execution was perfect, attitude was perfect, we had a good time and coming in today from the start we played really well."
On Friday, Gardiner took a 1-0 halftime lead, on a penalty kick goal after a foul by the Mariners in the penalty area, before Brooks connected on the first of her two penalty kicks with 18:35 left in the second half. Brooks then converted her second penalty kick a mere 18 seconds into the 15-minute OT to lift the hosts. Regular-season OTs are five minutes in length.
Both times Raye, a sophomore, was taken down in the penalty area, which resulted in the penalty kicks for Oceanside and Brooks. Both of Brooks' penalty kick goals sailed into the left part of the net, to the goalie's right.
"For Makenna to come up as a freshman and emphatically, not softly, but she thumped both of those [penalty kicks] in there like a real pro," said Townsend. "I was very proud of her. This was the best team game we've had out of the first 15 games."
Oddly enough, the Mariners had spent quite a bit of time working on penalty kicks in the previous night's practice.
"We spent probably half an hour up here kicking balls and a lot of people doing penalty kicks and thinking a little bit about it," he said. "Over the past 20 years I think back of some miserable times with penalty kicks [and heartbreaking losses on this field] and I didn't want something like that to bite us again."
The Mariners defeated visiting Gardiner 3-2 Sept. 6 in the teams' lone meeting of the regular season. Additionally, Oceanside defeated Winslow 4-0 Sept. 9 in Thomaston during the regular season, one of only two losses by the Black Raiders this fall.
"It's going to be a different match," said Townsend of the team's upcoming match with Winslow. "They've been on a roll really since they lost to us. They've won 10 straight or whatever it is, so we're going to have our work cut out for us. But if we play solid like this, front to back, we're going to be tough to beat."
In Friday's game, Kylee Granholm converted a penalty kick with 14:13 left in the first half to push Gardiner ahead 1-0, before Brooks tallied the equalizer with 18:35 remaining in the second half. With 14:42 left in the overtime, Brooks converted her second penalty kick to push the Mariners over the top.
Oceanside finished with 16 shots on goal and seven corner kicks, while goalie Kennadi Grover made two saves. Gardiner had four shots on goal and no corner kicks, while keeper Madison Cutler had 14 saves. The Tigers led 12-4 in direct kicks.
During the game, Brooks compiled five shots on goal and Raye and Emma Spencer both three to key the Mariners offensively.
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