It certainly wasn’t luck that decided the District 2-4A girls’ soccer championship Friday night.
But the Mosley Dolphins definitely felt pretty fortunate to escape yet another close game against their rivals at Lincoln High with a victory.
Mosley’s Brie Campbell pounced on a loose ball in front of the Lincoln net and scored the game-winner with 4:14 left in double overtime to give the Dolphins a 2-1 victory and the district championship.
The win means Mosley (15-1-2) will host a first round match in next week’s regional playoffs while the Trojans (11-6-4) will travel in the opening round.
“It was a dead-even game,” Lincoln coach Scott Mursten said. “It was two teams that are just dead even and are big rivals. That’s the way soccer is. The ball bounces one way for one team and against another team.”
Campbell’s goal came a minute after the Trojans had just missed out on a breakaway opportunity on the other end of the field.
Lincoln midfielder Ali Jenkins, the reigning Big Bend Player of the Year, had already scored one goal for the Trojans and nearly created a second when she broke loose in the open field and fired a pass to teammate Brittany Desotell.
And Desotell weaved her way down the field as two Mosley defenders closed in, somehow working herself free inside the box and with what looked like a chance to win the game. But Mosley’s defense closed in around her and gave her no clean look at the goal.
A minute later, the Dolphins had a corner kick at the other end and converted the game-winner on the loose ball opportunity in front of the goal.
“It was a great game,” Mosley coach Marek Betkowski said. “It’s pretty much how a final game is supposed to look. It was very competitive, very even and no goals for a long time. Both teams played outstanding. I’m sure the parents from both teams enjoyed watching the game.”
The parents and fans were treated to a fast-paced game that did its best to add some heat to the frigid temperatures at Cox Stadium.
Jenkins’ goal in the opening 10 minutes held through halftime as Lincoln tried to beat the Dolphins for the first time this season.
Mosley’s Stevie-Marie Mullins scored midway through the second half to tie the game.
Jenkins seized control of the midfield in the final 15 minutes of the match, either making runs at the goal herself or trying to set up a teammate for the game-winner.
“She is an outstanding player,” Betkowski said. “She’s very fast, very skillful. She really gave our defense a lot of trouble.”
Though the misplayed ball that led to the game-winner hurt, the Lincoln defense was pretty special Friday night.
Goalkeeper Heather Desotell had 10 saves and seemed to know exactly when to come off her line to knock the ball safely out of harm’s way. Midfielder Kelly Heckroth, an All-Big Bend first-teamer a year ago, and Taylor Codrick and Rebekah Dennis were extremely active as well.
Mursten took time after the match to remind his team that the Trojans still have playoff soccer in front of them. It was a reminder that Jenkins took to heart.
“This game is one I really wanted to win,” Jenkins said. “Sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way. But we’re not out. This is soccer. You learn from this.
“It’s something you can never predict. That’s why it’s such a special sport. It’s painful, but we’re still in it.”