RALEIGH — Leesville Road and Millbrook played 193 minutes of scoreless soccer this season before Leesville senior Bayley Rigsbee got her foot on a cross from sophomore Madison Hoffman to scoot the game-winning goal past Millbrook goalkeeper Anna Shelden with 7:36 remaining in the second overtime period Monday.
The 1-0 win in the teams’ second meeting gave Leesville Road (11-2-2, 10-1-1 Cap Eight) a one-game edge over Millbrook for first place in the conference with two games remaining in the regular season. The teams tied 0-0 at Millbrook in March.
“I thought Millbrook was a little bit better technically, had a lot more depth than we did — a lot more bodies, a lot more numbers. But I thought if we could just hang in there, I know the heart of some of these kids. ... What we may lack in sort of Division I skills, we have to make up for by being as fit as we can, by competing and having super chemistry, and I felt like we had that,” Leesville Road coach Paul Dinkenor said Monday.
Millbrook (12-4-1, 9-2-1), however, was without its leading scorer Cailyn Boch, who was out sick. Despite the void, the Wildcats pressured Leesville Road throughout the contest with seven shots on goal, but Pride goalkeeper goalkeeper Sydney Wooten didn’t give up an inch.
“We knew it was going to be tough to score on them,” Millbrook coach Matt Edwards said. “They’ve conceded six goals all season, that’s pretty awesome, so we knew it was going to take a lot of chances, and being without our leading goal scorer, we were going to have to create some opportunities, and I think we did. ... I just think that when you have players that have exceptional games that make plays, that goalkeeper making so many stops at critical moments, you just tip your hat. They weren’t shots right at her. She had to do the work and she did it. She rose to the occasion, but she was one of their entire team.
“I can’t point out one thing that our girls didn’t do. They poured their guts out. I’m proud of them. We just weren’t the best team tonight.”
Shelden made things tough for Leesville Road in goal for the Wildcats, stopping a Mary Kate Bowers one-on-one opportunity with just more than 10 minutes to play in regulation to help force overtime. Wooten stopped two Wildcats attempts to equalize after Rigsbee‘s goal.
The Pride play Wakefield to finish the regular season Monday. The team will attempt to reclaim the Cap Eight crown after being dethroned by Millbrook last season. Millbrook will face Sanderson this Wednesday and Broughton on Monday.
“I’m always excited to play Millbrook,” Rigsbee said. “Obviously they’re a great competitor and all of our games have always come down to heart and who wanted it more, and luckily we literally got lucky and finished one. ... I was so lucky to get my foot on that. It was a great cross. I just ended up being there.”