After a scoreless match in regulation Saturday night at Bearcat Stadium in the girls’ championship game of the annual Moritz Kia Tournament of Champions soccer tournament, the two-time defending champion Aledo Ladycats and Arlington Heights went into overtime.
In this tournament overtime consists of a best-of-5 shootout, with each attempt coming from the penalty kick mark 12 yards in front of the goal.
After three sets each team had found the back of the net each time, so with the shootout scored tied 3-3 it all came down to the goalkeepers. The three Ladycats goals were scored by Peyton Laughley, Kristen Burns and Brooke Jones.
Aledo all-state ‘keeper Mackenzie Covington once again proved up to the task. The Ladycats won last year’s tournament in the shootout with Covington coming up with big saves.
On Aledo’s fourth attempt a shot by Megan Crawford hit the cross bar, putting even more pressure on the Ladycats’ goalkeeper. But true to the nature of this match, the next Heights kicker also hit the cross bar as the match remained tied.
Ladycats forward Krista Thrasher found the back of the net to make the shootout score 4-3, and victory for Aledo was a Covington stop away.
She did not disappoint. Diving to her left, Covington stopped the next Heights’ attempt to win the match as the jubilant Ladycats stormed the field to pile on their goalkeeper.
Officially it will go down in the books as a 1-0 victory as the Ladycats claimed their third consecutive Moritz Kia title.
Ladycats senior midfielder Peyton Laughley, who scored five goals in three matches, was selected as the tournament Most Valuable Player.
Earlier in the afternoon, the Aledo Bearcats fell 5-0 to South Hills in the third-place match.