After recording its first Division I girls’ soccer playoff since moving up in 2011, No. 21 Parkway was fired up to host No. 5 Dominican in the second round.
The girls went through their normal routine for the game scheduled Tuesday, which included a spirited pregame dinner Monday night, only to have the game pushed back to Wednesday because of ice.
Tinsley Park, Parkway’s usual home, was a mixture of ice and mud Wednesday, moving the game to Calvary’s turf field on the final day to play a second-round girls soccer game.
Dominican scored three goals in the first 25 minutes to end Parkway’s season in a 3-0 loss, but this season – and the last few days – will be something the Lady Panthers will never forget.
“We were so ready to play (Tuesday),” said center midfielder Madeline Wheelahan. “I wouldn’t say we lost any momentum (waiting until Wednesday), but we couldn’t wait to play.
“The way we play on the field reflects the closeness of this bunch, and we love spending time together off the field even though we’re together so much during practices and games.”
Dominican peppered a flurry of shots on Parkway’s goal early, and a Madi Camet goal gave the visitors an early 1-0 lead.
A Camet corner kick found Mia Zervigon’s head in the box several minutes later for a 2-0 advantage.
Around the 25-minute mark, Dominican’s Emma Hildreth scored a goal from the top of the box for the visitors’ final goal.
“We were prepared coming in, and these girls executed our game plan for the first 20 minutes,” said Dominican coach Al Silvas, whose team took a charter bus up Monday and stayed an extra night Tuesday. “Parkway settled down and got into their game plan, and any team you play in the second round is good and deserves to be here.
“As for the weather, we told our girls Monday when we left that (a delay) was a possibility, so we were prepared and I thought we handled it well.”
Parkway didn’t have many offensive opportunities other than a couple of breakaway chances by Sara Funderburk and Wheelahan. Liz Knight took two free kicks, one of which sailed above the goal for the Lady Panthers’ closest chance at a goal.
“We knew what we were getting into today against Dominican,” said Knight, a center defender. “Dominican had great passes, but we got better gradually once we figured it out.
“It’s been a hectic couple of days, but I am proud of the effort we put in.”
Parkway coach Randy Alexander said he will miss his three seniors from this team, but the future is bright with four freshmen who started this season along with a host of other returners.
“We gave them a game in the second half,” Alexander said. “Our goalkeeper (Madelyn Elliott) is one of those freshman, and she never gets flustered no matter what happens in front of her.
“I think our team was a little underrated coming in, so we knew we had a good chance to get a win (in the first round).”
The 3-2 overtime win at No. 12 Acadiana in the first round was certainly a highlight.
“We wanted to get (Acadiana) back a little bit for what happened in the (Superdome during the football championships),” said Wheelahan, referencing Acadiana’s football state win over Parkway. “Everyone expected us to lose because it was a No. 21 seed and a No. 12 seed, but that win was very exciting.
Knight added, “We went in knowing we were the underdog, but we had faith in each other and came out and dominated.
“We played hard in overtime.”