Amanda Wallin Scores Twice in Overtime to Power Pine Tree Past John Tyler
TYLER — When Pine Tree needed its career goals and assists leader to make a play, she delivered. Twice.
Senior captain Amanda Wallin scored two goals in the first 7:03 of overtime to propel Pine Tree to a 2-0 victory against John Tyler in Tuesday night’s Class 4A Region II bi-district soccer playoff at TMF Rose Stadium.
“When you have a player like Wallin, it’s only a matter of time that she’s gonna finally break free and see the goal,” said Pine Tree coach Daniel Rich. “It’s seemed like all year long it’s taken her a little while to get going, but the fact is she always keeps going and she finds the net when we need it.”
The victory sends Pine Tree (21-1-1) to Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. area playoff against Pleasant Grove at Pine Tree Stadium.
The underdog Lady Lions hung around as long as they could, keeping the game in a scoreless tie through 100 minutes. But 56 seconds into overtime, PT senior captain Emily Shelton found Wallin for the go-ahead goal from about 15 yards away.
Just into the 108th minute, freshman Erin Bailey set up Wallin’s second goal — her 22nd of the year and 117th of her career — to ice the match. Pine Tree nursed the two-goal lead for the final 12-plus minutes.
“I definitely felt like as long as they were playing well and keeping those girls in front of them, all we needed was that one goal,” Rich said of his defense. “I knew one goal could win the game because of how well we were playing in the back.”
Pine Tree senior goalkeepers Kaiti Lawrence and Brittany Hollis combined for the shutout. Hollis made a crucial save on Jojo Calleja’s shot on goal 3 1/2 minutes into the second half, diving to her left to make a stop near the ground.
“I tell you what, I thought it was gonna slip through. Hollis made a great save at the ground. She’s really good at low balls. That was the perfect goal for the perfect situation at that time.”
John Tyler had the first half’s only shot on goal, which Lawrence deflected, resulting in two subsequent, unsuccesful Lady Lions cornerkicks less than four minutes until halftime.
Shelton had a header deflected for PT’s first shot on goal of the match about halfway through the second half. John Tyler goalkeeper Rebecca Renteria then saved two shots from PT’s Lily Cabrera and Wallin, plus stopped a well-placed Shelton cross during the final 21 1/2 minutes of regulation.
Going to overtime tied with a team that entered the contest as a clear underdog, Rich said his team didn’t panic.
“I just told them to keep positive and go forward. There’s no reason to be mad at them or belittle them or anything else. The fact is thye needed to do what they win best and win games,” he said. “You get complacent when you feel like it’s your right to keep going further (in the playoffs). For the girls to see that it’s anybody’s game and nobody’s gonna lay down for them is great and it’s only gonna make us better from here on out.”