Whitehouse Takes Down Pine Tree in Penalty Kicks
LINDALE — Sophomore goalkeeper Kamryn York had a unique overtime penalty kick routine in Friday’s Class 4A sectional playoff win against Pine Tree at Eagle Stadium.
The Whitehouse goalie — dressed in a Spiderman themed shirt — came off the goal line to greet her Lady Pirate competitors, wished them good luck on their kick, defended the shot to the best of her ability and then took the ball and set it up for her teammates in the game’s most pressure packed minutes.
The end result were some visibly rattled Pine Tree shooters and a 4-2 penalty kick win to extend the Ladycats’ season after a 0-0 game through 100 minutes.
“I make sure I make eye contact,” York said. “You’ve just got to look at them and say, ‘Good luck. I hope you make it!‘ They just try to keep their head down. They’re trying not to look at me so I don’t get inside their head.”
Anyone affiliated with soccer will tell you losing in penalty kicks is the cruelest thing that can happen.
In Friday’s case, back lines which kept the game a deadlock were removed and teams’ best shooters are called up to go one-on-one with the opposing goalie.
The keeper can only move laterally along the goal line until the ball moves and the all the shooters can do is kick the ball from its designated spot. All of it after 80 minutes of regulation and two extra periods of 10 minutes.
Fortunately for the Ladycats, York was as prepared as she could be.
“Two days ago, I had goalie practice and my mom told me I had to work on P.K.s because you never know,” she said. “It might come down to that. Me and my goalkeeper coach worked on it and it helped me so much.”
The private coach taught a mental game to help the keeper where the match’s penalty kick rules bind goalies to goal line.
“You’ve got to say, ‘Good luck. I hope you make it.‘ Even though you obviously don’t,” York said as she laughed about what had played out about five minutes prior. “Then you’ve just got to act like you’re big in the goal because I only have a 10 percent chance of stopping it. I’m so small and the goal is so big.”
Pine Tree overshot the goal on its first attempt and York saved its fourth attempt. Whitehouse connected on all four attempts, so the standard fifth frame of the ultimate overtime event was not needed.
That’s how the Lady Pirates’ fantastic season, highlighted with an undefeated district championship, ended.
The Ladycats will play Waxahachie in the regional quarterfinals next week at a time, date and location to be determined.
Whitehouse spent most of the game in control of the ball, but it couldn’t find that finishing touch. Both teams’ defensive players played a strong game as did York and Pine Tree’s keeper Shayana Felker.
York made two saves through 100 minutes. Felker thwarted seven of Ladycats’ possessions with a stand at the goal.
“I thought we had some really good chances,” Whitehouse head coach Brad Jones said. “I felt like in the last half of regulation we outplayed them. We just couldn’t put one in the back of the net. You’ve got to give them credit. They gave us no good looks. We had not easy shots or anything like that. This game really went like I thought it would. A P.K., shootout situation. We’re very even. Very even for sure.”
Whitehouse moves out of East Texas to see the state’s best.
“For the past two or three years, we have not beat Pine Tree,” York said. “We came into this game humble. We knew it was going to be tough. We came out with our hearts. Every single one of us. This is the best team I’ve ever had and I’m so proud of them.”