Saline Girls’ Soccer Wins District Title in Shootout

The Saline girls’ soccer team claimed the D1 District title with a shootout win over Skyline. Picture by Mike Williamson

It doesn’t get much more heart-stopping than today’s Division 1 Girls Soccer district championship game between Saline and Ann Arbor Skyline.

The district title had to be decided in a heart-stopping shootout after the two teams went toe-to-toe for 100 scoreless minutes and the Hornets came away with the win behind the amazing saves by goaltender Annika Udrys and the foot of Sarah Brannan who scored the championship-winning goal.

Despite the scoreless game, it was not boring as both teams had several chances throughout and both goaltenders were up to the task. Udrys made several big saves, including tipping a pair of shots over the crossbar that looked to be going into the net.

The Hornets had two great chances in overtime, one on a corner that was headed just wide of the goal and another that saw a direct kick sail over the top of the net and clang off the football field goal post just above the crossbar.

After two scoreless 10-minute overtime periods, the teams went to a shootout. They picked five players for each team for the shootout.

Annika Udry makes a diving save in the fifth round of the shootout. Picture by Mike Williamson

Udrys made a diving save in net to start things out and Bella Petrock found the net to put the Hornets up 1-0 after one round. Skyline scored in the second round and the Hornets second shot went high and wide to make it 1-1.

Round three saw Udrys make another big diving save, but the Eagles goaltender made a big save herself to keep it 1-1.

Skyline found the net in round three, but Genisis Pena struck it home to even up at 2-2 after four rounds.

Udrys made one more diving save in the fifth round and Brannan calmly found the corner and sprinted toward her teammates after scoring the district-clinching goal.

Sarah Brannan celebrates her district championship-winning goal. Picture by Mike Williamson

The Hornets advance to the Division 1 Regional at Novi Tuesday where they will face Woodhaven at 4:00 PM.

Saline reached the finals by pitching a pair of shutouts in the opening two rounds.

They opened with a 10-0 mercy of Ypsilanti Lincoln Tuesday, May 29.

Lauren Rubin and Erin Reilly led the way with two goals apiece. Scoring one goal each were Morgan Jones, Pena, Hannah Jarvie, Devin Reilly, Natalie Wlotkowski, and Sabrina Helmer. Petrock, Jones, Brannan, Nora Udrys, Katie Miller, Devin Reilly, Liz Sekerak, Emma Petrock and Audrey Morton each picked up an assist.

The Hornets then defeated Ann Arbor Huron 2-0 in the semifinals Thursday.

Nora Udrys drove in on goal and slipped one by the goaltender to make it 1-0 in the first half and it stayed that way until Annika Dahlman knocked in a corner kick from Pena to seal the win with nine minutes to go in the game.

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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