With eight combined goals in the previous meeting in April between Lane and Payton, another high-scoring affair seemed likely.
However, Tuesday’s Public League semifinal at Lane went scoreless through 80 minutes of regulation and 20 minutes of overtime.
“I know that when we are in playoffs everyone plays a lot harder,” Lane coach Michelle Vale-Suarez said. “Nobody wants to go home. We don’t want to go home, either.”
The game even needed extra kicks in the shootout to decide the winner.
That’s when Amanda Lindberg rose to the occasion and buried her shot in the bottom-left corner in the sixth round of the shootout for a 1-0 win.
“It is the best feeling in the world,” Lindberg said. “I volunteered to take that kick. As soon as I volunteered I knew I could do it, and so I followed through.”
From the outset Lane (12-4-3) had control of the match and seemed to be well on its way to winning in regulation.
In the third minute, George Washington recruit Sofia Pavon fed junior Anastasia Niforos with a through ball on the right side, but the breakaway was thwarted.
Six minutes later, Pavon sprung Natalie Wade with a pass from midfield on the left side before the shot was saved.
The Indians had the bulk of possession and dictated the pace especially in the opening half. They had six shots — two on goal — before halftime.
The Grizzlies (9-4-3) had just one shot on goal the first half.
“What we wanted to do was soak up the pressure,” Payton coach Ante Cop said. “We weren’t going to ‘park the bus,’ by any means. We wanted to make sure that we held Lane Tech in front of us, which we did, and looked to counter attack as much as possible.”
The best chance for Lane came in the 55th minute, when Wade tried to find the back post from a run to the left side of the box, but her shot whistled wide.
Then 19 minutes later, a Lane pass trickled through the box and nearly found its way into the net before being saved.
In the fourth minute of overtime, Pavon had the deepest strike on a direct kick from 34 yards that was tipped over the bar, resulting in the game’s first corner kick.