**Note: This article originally published on PaPrepLive.com**
EAST ROCKHILL >> About halfway through the second overtime of her team’s match, with penalty kicks looming, Central Bucks South midfielder Courtney Taylor knew the next girl to make a play was going to see her team advance.
“Aleksa (Peev) just got the ball through to me and the goalie was coming out at me,” Taylor said. “I was just trying to get a touch around her. I touched it around her a followed it into the net.”
That touch, and that goal, proved to be a game winner, as 24th-seeded CB South went into Pennridge and defeat the eighth-seeded Rams 2-1 in a double overtime thriller.
“She’s one of the most tenacious players on this team,” South coach Betsy Bullock said about Taylor. “She will give her heart and soul for it. She has played every position for us – defense, midfield, and now forward. And she plays them all with the same intensity.”
Taylor also had a hand in the lone goal of the first half, which came at 17:16 for the visitors. Despite having the lesser of the possession in the half, CB South won a throw and took advantage of it.
That’s when Taylor uncorked a magnificent long throw that Pennridge had trouble clearing. Kylie Walsh found herself as the beneficiary and made sure she didn’t miss, beating Ram keeper Kaitlyn Moran over her left shoulder to secure a 1-0 lead.
“Honestly I think my throw works,” Taylor said. “Especially with Kylie because she’s on my club team and we really just know how it works. I saw her coming to the ball and I just tried to hit her. She just got there and finished it.”
The second half was the same as the first for Pennridge as far as possession goes, but it was evident the Rams had ratcheted up the intensity. After taking control and gaining all the possession in the first eight minutes of the half, they were rewarded with an equalizer on a corner kick.
Stevenson served the ball into the middle, and after a bit of a scrum Savannah Harrison was able to volley a ball in the upper right corner past a diving Sophia Boggs.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the effort we put in, especially after coming from behind 1-0,” Pennridge coach Audrey Anderson said. “We knew scoring on Sophia it was going to have to be something great and any other keeper we’re winning this game.
“I’m so proud of my team tonight. They fought hard and that’s who we are.”
Boggs tallied four saves in the match for the Titans, but was seemingly never out of position throughout the match.
“Sophia Boggs has kept us in every single game,” Bullock said. “She makes at least two exceptional saves per game. That’s enough to keep us in games”
Pennridge’s first-half chances came mostly from winning free kicks, as they had most of the attacking possession in the first 40 minutes.
Erin Stevenson proved to be a threat on anything inside 30 yards as the set piece orchestrator. She tested Boggs multiple times. The biggest threat came 32 minutes in when Stevenson hit the crossbar off a corner.
“During halftime we talked about ‘Do we want our season to end, what is it we can do, run through every ball, leave nothing,”’ Anderson said. “So whatever happens at the end of the game we know we did whatever we could.
“I know who we are and what we have. This is going to make us a better team next year. It’s unfortunate for our seniors… but I do believe that this group is going to let this make them stronger.”
With the game tied at one, Pennridge continued to hold the momentum, but were unable to capitalize despite the ball being in the CB South half for the majority of the second 40. The Rams won four corners in the second half alone.
“We played a very well-coached and a very good team,” said Bullock about Pennridge. “So I’m very proud that my girls could pull this out”
The South offense, other than the long throw, was sending Taylor on runs. She was able to create chances and threaten the Pennridge defense all night.
“We changed our strategy up a little bit. We’ve been a possession team all year but we changed some positions and occasionally, probably more tonight than ever, played over the top to Courtney. It was effective.”
Next up for the Titans is a foe they may be familiar with — top-seeded Central Bucks East.
“That’s quite a challenge we’re gonna have, because they’re undefeated, so well coached, and have so much talent,” Bullock said. “This team is coming together so we’ll give it our best.”
Bullock’s star midfielder had a bit of a different tone about Saturday’s quarterfinal.
“I think if we come out the same way we played tonight we’re going to win,” Taylor said. “We played so well and we didn’t let (Pennridge) get in our heads once they scored. If we do that with East we should win.”