By David Purdum / For the AJC
The last time Parkview goalie Megan Wiley faced penalty kicks versus Harrison she came up on the short end. On Saturday in the AAAAAA state championship at Kennesaw State, Wiley came up huge.
Wiley’s diving save and successful penalty kicks by Emma Carlson, Emily Nixon, Katie Hickman and Kristina Meyer lifted the Panthers to a 2-1 victory and their eighth state title.
Mariah Garner played in goal for Parkview in regulation and the two scoreless overtime periods, before Panthers’ coach Judson Hamby inserted Wiley in for the penalty kicks. The move paid off and delivered Hamby his fourth state title at Parkview and first since 2009.
On the Hoyas’ second penalty kick attempt, Wiley sized up Savannah Vanderbeck, dove hard to her right and smothered the grounder.
“I just liked Megan’s reaction on penalty kicks, so we started putting her then about a month ago,” said Hamby. “Just a great game, between two great teams.”
Carlson gave the Panthers (20-3) a 1-0 lead in the first half, when she found herself behind an off-guard Hoya defense and flicked home a right-footed shot.
The second half was all Harrison (19-2), though. Monica Herrera tied the game on a right-to-left turning shot that found the corner of the net with 31:12 left in the second half.
Re-energized, the Hoyas took over from that point, controlling the midfield and winning the majority of 50-50 balls. Vanderbeck ignited multiple opportunities in a second half that was played predominantly on Parkview’s side of the field. The Hoyas had all the momentum, but couldn’t come with a go-ahead goal. And, after Garner made a tippy-toe save on Julia DuPre’s last-second shot, the Panthers had survived to force overtime.
Neither team seriously threatened in the two five-minute overtimes, forcing the shootout.
Harrison beat Parkview, 2-1, on penalty kicks in April.