That proved to be costly for the Lady Hoyas as their quest for a second straight state title came to an end on penalty kicks at Cobleigh Stadium.
After a scoreless 80 minutes of regulation and two scoreless 5-minute overtime periods, Northview beat Harrison 4-2 in the shootout to advance to an all-north Fulton final Saturday at Milton.
At the end, what Harrison coach Steve Riccard called his team’s best game of the year was for naught.
“We did a lot, but it was hard to get one in the net on (Northview),” Riccard said. “It was our best game of the year. We came together — passing the ball, creating opportunities — so I was very proud of our effort. It was a very fun game to watch — not many fouls, both teams trying to play soccer, so it was an enjoyable game to watch.”
While Harrison (14-5-1) was able to effectively move the ball around, it was stifled by a stingy Northview defense, led by Lady Titan goalkeeper Taylor Erickson.
“That goalkeeper — that back line, their three center (midfielders) — it’s hard to get behind them, and that was the big difference,” Riccard said. “I thought we created chances in the second half and the overtime and we were the aggressor as far as going forward.”
The closest Harrison came to a goal in the first half was when Kelsey Daugherty nailed a shot that was grabbed by a leaping Erickson with 7:04 remaining.
Meanwhile, Harrison goalkeeper Allison Leone stopped a Northview scoring attempt in the second half when she leaped up to grab a shot by Aubrey Walsh with 36:50 left in regulation.
After the rest of the second half, and the two extra periods, came and went without a goal, the game moved on to the penalty kicks.
Northview (13-6-1) took control immediately when Erickson made diving saves of Harrison’s first two attempts, while Hannah Edwards and Jordan Salvador converted their chances to put the Lady Titans up 2-0.
Jessie Sperry made her try to finally put Harrison on the board and cut Northview’s lead to 2-1, but Amanda Schwartz scored to increase the Lady Titans’ advantage to 3-1.
Hannah Deltac scored on Harrison’s next attempt to cut the Lady Hoyas’ deficit to 3-2, but Walsh made her try for Northview to make it 4-2. The Lady Titans then clinched the win when Erickson saved the Lady Hoyas’ final shot.
“I was pleased with our performance, and I told the girls that was the best game that we’ve put together all year long,” Riccard said.