After a scoreless first half, Colin Huber tried to get Pope (5-5-1, 5-2) on the board less than 2 minutes into the second, but his shot sailed high.
Kell (9-5, 6-2) got the ball back and capitalized when a Pope player took down Will Cullom inside the left side of the box, giving the Longhorns the penalty kick.
Isidoro took the shot, sailing the ball right and into the net, just past the outstretched arm of Pope goalkeeper Sean Hatcher.
Both teams positioned themselves for several more scoring chances in the second half. The Greyhounds’ final chance at an equalizer — Ryan Hanley’s header off Zachary McCown’s direct kick — sailed wide with 20 seconds remaining, and the Longhorns were able to run out the clock.
The victory gave Kell its third straight shutout, sixth consecutive victory and positioned it atop the standings with two region games remaining.
“We always do PKs after practice,” Isidoro said. “(Pope’s) keeper is huge, so I just wanted to go low and put it in the corner. This is a big win. If we win out, we’re the region champs, so this was a big game for us.”
Even with the one-goal advantage, Kell didn’t relax and be satisfied with simply defending its goal. The Longhorns had five second-half shots, compared to 11 for the Greyhounds, and played even against Pope in corner kicks at 2-all.
“This was absolutely a huge match for us,” Kell coach David Penny said. “We knew what the implications were if we got the win. Pope’s a huge rival for us and we’ve finished 1 and 2 (in the region standings) the last two years.
“We always try to be attack-minded, and Pope’s defense played really, really well. We tried to play possession-heavy. Once we got that goal, we hunkered in and held on for the win but still took some chances to increase the lead.”
Kell needed every one of those attempts just to keep Pope on its toes defensively. When the Greyhounds were on offense, they were very close to scoring.
Pope attempted three shots shortly after Isidoro’s goal. Kell keeper Josue Compean saved Franklin Robinson’s shot attempt, and Austin Cardenas’ shot was blocked by a Kell defender, resulting in a corner kick. Cardenas headed McCown’s corner kick wide of the goal, ending the Greyhounds’ flurry of shots.
A through ball from Ian Vanbuskirk to Colin Huber sailed wide of the goal with 29:35 left, and another through ball from McCown to Huber at the 27:10 mark was saved by Compean when Huber couldn’t get enough power behind the shot attempt.
Robinson’s shot at 20:40 was corralled by Compean, and Matthew Laferie’s attempt at 10:50 was blocked by a Kell defender.
“I think everything was going well for us,” Pope coach Richard Groeneveld said. “Just a little mistake there at the edge of the box didn’t need to happen. We had coverage, but we didn’t need to tackle him. It was just a defensive error, and that’s the way it goes.
“We had a lot of good chances. We should have gotten a couple of goals. It was a game we could have won 3-0, but we lost 1-0. We had our chances, and it happens.”
Pope 2, Kell 1 (OT): Alex Grace scored with 2 minutes left in the second overtime to lift the Lady Greyhounds to the Region 7AAAAA victory.
Kayla Ilg gave Pope (8-4-2, 6-1) the early lead when she scored the game’s first goal midway through the first half.
The score remained 1-0 until Haley Hendrickson tied the game for Kell (6-7-1, 3-5) with 15 minutes left in regulation.