At 10:37 p.m. on Saturday night, FPD woke up from its dream season.
Westminster goalkeeper Kelly Smith slid to her right and stopped Taylor Duggan’s penalty kick to give the Wildcats a thrilling 6-5 win on penalty kicks over FPD to win the GISA girls Class AAA title and crush the Lady Vikings’ hopes for a perfect season.
FPD still had a spectacular year, going 22-1 and breaking Stratford’s streak for consecutive wins. Westminster ended the championship season with a 14-6-1 record.
Westminster will take the trophy out of Macon for the first time since 1995, the first year of AAA girls soccer, when Heritage captured it.
Stratford won 11 straight under Grant Serafy, Iain Jones and Mike White.
After a tie at 1 at halftime, the teams went scoreless through the second half and through the first 10-minute overtime.
Westminster’s Annie Speese put the Wildcats on top with a long goal from straight ahead, but Smith had to sit after a yellow card with 1:57 left. Five seconds later, Rebecca Miller took Kelsey Black’s corner kick and put it in through traffic to tie it.
Two more five-minute overtimes passed, and the teams were tied after five penalty kicks.
Then, the format goes to whose goal is unanswered, and it was Westminster’s on the first try to end a classic match
“That this game came down to penalty kicks is almost unfair,” Westminster head coach John Freace said. “I thought both teams played really well. That was an awesome game.”
FPD head coach Josh Trieste said the loss didn’t detract from the Lady Vikings’ season.
“We talked before the game about what we’ve done this season,” he said. “The neat thing about accomplishments is once they’re accomplished, nobody can take them from you. An undefeated regular season, region championship, Final Four for the fourth straight year.
“We talked about a cake, and this was the icing on it. It wasn’t going to make or break our season, but it would have made it a little more special.”