ALBURNETT — A goal is a goal. A win is a win. And Cedar Valley Christian/Alburnett need apologize for neither.
Maggie Cach tied the game with a goal from deep in the left wing late in regulation, then her long throw-in to the box was knocked into the goal by an enemy head as CVC-A outlasted Iowa City Liberty in overtime, 3-2, in a Class 1A girls’ soccer regional semifinal Friday night at the Martin Sports Complex.
“The postseason is all about heart, and character, and not giving up,” Huskies Coach Ron Slagle said. “We don’t have any big club players here. We just have kids from these two schools that want to play the game.”
And they’ll play at least one more. CVC-A (14-4) will face Iowa City Regina (9-7) — a 5-0 victor Friday over Williamsburg — in a regional final at 6 p.m. Monday at Regina. The winner advances to the state tournament.
A senior whose athletic career will end at the conclusion of this season (she will pursue a nursing degree at Kirkwood Community College next fall), Cach boosted the Huskies in a variety of ways.
She was the goalkeeper in the first half, then left her post to play the field after intermission.
“I like them both,” she said. “I like being in goal, and I like being part of the action, too.
“I just like helping my team.”
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Liberty (6-12) held a 2-1 advantage when Hailey Hested scored on a rebound with 25:24 left in regulation. But like they did in a regional-quarterfinal win over Anamosa, the Huskies created some late magic.
Shortly after Elisabeth Fields hit the crossbar on a potential game-tying shot, Cach cashed in for her first goal of the season, with just 2:17 left in regular time.
“First goal in forever,” she said.
One of Cach’s biggest weapons is her long, high throw-in, which she can get close to the goal from 20-30 yards out. Get it that close, and something good can happen.
And with 3:30 elapsed in overtime, her throw from near the right corner went into a cluster of players near the goal. It caromed off the head of one of the Lightning players and into the net.
“Yeah, it kind of goes far,” she said. “(Slagle) says get it as far as I can.
“This is great. I’ve always wanted to get to this position.”
Briana Ervin put Liberty on the board with a penalty kick with 11:11 left in the first half, then Sydney Crittenden answered for the Huskies to make it 1-1 at halftime.
CEDAR VALLEY CHRISTIAN/ALBURNETT 3, IOWA CITY LIBERTY 2 (OT)
Class 1A Regional Semifinal, at Alburnett
Goals — ICL: Briana Ervin (PK, 2, 28:49), Hailey Hested (1, 56:36); CVC-A: Sydney Crittenden (3, 35:04), Maggie Cach (1, 77:43), own goal (83:30). Assists: — CVC-A: Cach (1).
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