PENNINGTON, N.J. – After 100 minutes of soccer and a shootout in the NJSIAA Group II semifinals, the players on the Wall girls soccer team loaded with senior talent found themselves mobbing a sophomore in celebration.

Sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Chece saved two penalty kick attempts, including the last one she faced, and senior Lauren Karabin converted the clincher to help the Crimson Knights advance past Cinnaminson and into the Group III final for the second straight year with a 5-4 shootout win following a 1-1 draw.

"I don't think anyone likes (penalty kicks), including myself," Chece said. "It's probably one of the hardest things a goalie can ever go through. When I was standing in the goal, I kept telling myself, 'You can do this.' I just had to keep positive thoughts in my head."

It took Wall two extra rounds of kicks to pull out the shootout win, with Karabin and her sister, Jenna, each hitting two penalty kicks. Chece saved Cinnaminson's seventh attempt and Lauren Karabin followed the save up by burying her shot to the lower right of the goal before promptly - along with the rest of her teammates - running over to embrace Chece.

"It was the best feeling in the world, especially to have a senior come at me like that and give me the biggest hug ever," Chece said. "I couldn't have felt better."

"Jordan's a beast," Lauren Karabin said. "Her saving them and the fact that she's a youngster too - she saved our season as seniors. I love her for that."

Wall's top penalty shooter during the season - Amy Paternoster - has been out with a foot injury since the Shore Conference Tournament and Tuesday was the first time Wall had to venture into a shootout with a new look lineup. The Karabin sisters came up big with four of Wall's five makes, with senior defender Meghan Cobran knocking down the other.

"My sister is much more confident than I am taking (penalty kicks)," Lauren Karabin said. "Walking up there, I knew I didn't want my season to end and I knew that I should have had some goals in the game too, so I was not letting myself live with that regret for the rest of my life."

Cinnaminson sophomore Emma Karch made overtime necessary with a 16-yard strike in the 45th minute that pulled the Pirates even at 1-1 - a shot Chece thought she might have a chance to save if she put herself in better position.

"I knew that if I was a step over, I would have saved it," Chece said. "When that goal went in - I think negatively a lot of the time and I was like, 'We're done.' But then we started playing and we got our momentum back and that helps to refocus."

Chece had a chance to redeem herself before the shootout and it came in the 68th minute later. Karch got off another shot ticketed for the upper 90 in the 68th minute, but the sophomore keeper swatted it away from the frame.

Despite the goal and the close call that Chece saved, Wall dominated the shot category, 18-4 for the 100 minutes of play. Lauren Karabin alone took three shots during the second half and overtime that got past goalkeeper Maddie Ogden, but skipped with of the post.

"We've had games with seven goals, so we know we can score," Lauren Karabin said. "We usually make the opportunities we didn't finish tonight, but that's soccer. There are off games, bad touches, slick balls - it just happens."

Wall opened the scoring in the 28th minute on a goal by junior Courtney Carduner, who one-timed a pass from sophomore Marissa Sciorilli and knocked it inside the near left post.

Wall won a share of the Group III title last year by playing Northern Highlands to a scoreless draw and will shoot for its first ever outright title Saturday against Westwood in the Group II final.

"No one at this school has gone to back-to-back finals and this year is cool because we also won the Shore Conference (Tournament), our division and our section" Lauren Karabin said. "Winning all four was the goal we set since day one and that's the goal that we have the chance to finish."

 

Box Score

Wall 1, Cinnaminson 1 (Wall advances on penalties, 5-4)

1 2 OT OT F PK
Wall (23-1-2) 1 0 0 0 1 5
Cinnaminson (19-1-3) 0 1 0 0 1 4

Goals: (W) Courtney Carduner (Marissa Sciorilli) 28'; (C) Emma Karch (Meredith Updike) 45'
Shots: Wall, 18-4
Saves: (W) Jordan Chece 1; (C) Maddie Ogden 5
Penalty Kicks: (W) Lauren Karabin 2, Jenna Karabin 2, Meghan Cobran; (C) Grace Kenville 2, Jamie McHugh, Christine Bescript

 

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