Kenmore West senior Faye Panagopoulos didn’t want to walk off the field with back-to-back losses to rival Ken-East. So she did something about it.
Panagopoulos scored the game winning goal with 1:58 left in double overtime as the Lady Blue Devils edged the Lady Bulldogs, 3-2, in their Niagara Frontier League crossover game that was played at Adams Field, Wednesday evening.
Ending league play on a winning note, the Blue Devils also avenged a 2-1 loss to the Dogs two days ago.
“We definitely wanted it more this time,” Panagopoulos said. “I know I wanted it more cause I didn’t want to lose my two senior (year) games to East.”
Panagopoulos managed to slide the ball by Ken-East goalie Lyndsay O’Brien, who was stellar all night, making key saves to keep her team in the game until their offense kicked in.
The sting of Monday’s loss was still fresh in the minds of the Blue Devils as they clearly came into Wednesday’s game with a purpose.
Two quick goals by Mariah Huss and Molly Tobin staked Ken-West to a 2-0 lead three minutes into the game.
“The girls played within themselves today,” Ken-West coach Ken Belote said. “They weren’t super hyped up. They knew they had a job to do and they went out and did it.”
Panagopoulos confessed that on Monday they took their foot off the pedal after the first goal and it cost them. They weren’t going to make that same mistake two games in a row.
“Monday’s game after our first goal we definitely took it easy and thought ‘oh we got this’,” Panagopoulos explained. “Today we made sure we were on the ball and once we scored once we wanted to get it again and again.”
Still some carryover from Monday’s emotional game, this contest was just as physical as both teams played hard until the final whistle.
The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard in the 28th minute when Lexi Cummings, who scored the game winner on Monday, found the back of the net.
Cummings would forced the extra session when she scored on a direct kick with 5:26 left in regulation.
Even though they were on the wrong end of the final score Ken-East coach Jamie Raepple said she was very happy with the sense of compete that her girls showed in both games against Ken-West.
“That’s what I’ve been looking for all year and the fact that they gave it to me tonight and Monday is huge.”
“It means they’re coming around as a team. They’re working together as a team. They’re not putting their heads down when they go down a goal or two. Especially like tonight down 2-0. They battled back 2-2. It was a hard fought battle and it was without some of our starting players. I had people in positions they hadn’t played before all season. I thought it was a hard fought battle by both teams and unfortunately we were on the wrong end of it, but that was something I’d been looking for all season.”
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