CENTER POINT — It took 97 1/2 minutes for the Center Point-Urbana girls’ soccer team to find a game-winning goal May 24 against Dyersville Beckman.
Monday night, that goal never came, meaning a fourth straight state tournament berth was left up to a shootout. The Stormin’ Pointers didn’t miss again.
Goalkeeper Carlie Foltz made two saves and Center Point-Urbana was 4-for-4 in the shootout to advance to state with a 1-0 (4-2 PK) win over Beckman in a Class 1A regional final at Fross Park. Third-ranked CPU (16-2) will face No. 7 Nevada (14-4) in a state quarterfinal game at 11:45 a.m. Thursday at Cownie Soccer Park in Des Moines.
By then, Foltz probably will have caught her breath. Her teammates made that a chore Monday when they swarmed her following Lauren Dufoe’s game-winning penalty. Foltz then teared up on the sideline as she embraced her family.
“I could not breathe whatsoever. I still can’t breathe,” Foltz said. “It felt amazing. Just to know that everyone had my back, and I just gave it my all. That’s the best I could do.”
Foltz got her hand on Beckman’s second PK attempt but couldn’t prevent it from hitting the net. She stood her ground to stop the third, then dove confidently to parry away the fourth.
“The adrenaline was just pumping,” Foltz said. “I had to do it for my team.”
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The Stormin’ Pointers had a 16-7 shots advantage, including 9-5 on goal, but it was by no means a one-sided 100 minutes. Beckman may have had the best chance of the night late in the first half. Ashley Engelken slipped past the keeper, but CPU center back Alexa Coller stepped up and blocked the ensuing shot before it could find the empty net.
CPU used its speed and stamina to develop chances on the other end. Adrianna Katcher was prolific winning balls in the middle of the field and sent in a handful of crosses and deep shots. One from outside the box rattled the crossbar in the 62nd minute.
Beckman goalkeeper Megan Funke stood tall throughout, but Madison Van Vors, Katcher, Blasi Whitehead and Dufoe were clinical from the spot in the shootout.
The result for CPU was a poetic flip from a 4-2 shootout loss to Class 2A state qualifier Waverly-Shell Rock on April 15.
“That gave us the motivation we needed to keep practicing PKs every practice we can,” Foltz said. “It worked out for us this time.”
The Blazers wrap up the season at 12-7.
“We (CPU and Beckman) just played 200 minutes of soccer ... without a goal,” Beckman Coach Greg Keegan said. “Everybody had opportunities. It just didn’t fall.”
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