You try and prepare the girls as best as you can, but when it comes down to it they’ve got to be the ones that get their nerves in check and you’re over there biting your nails. —Mountain View coach Sara Atuaia
PROVO — Two halves weren’t enough. Neither were two additional overtimes. Nor were the first five rounds of a shootout. Timpview, the No. 2 seed from Region 8, and Mountain View, the No. 3 seed from Region 7, remained deadlocked in the first round of the 4A girls soccer tournament.
After both teams scored on four of five shots in the ensuing shootout, the Bruins finally had an opportunity to prevail after Timpview’s 10th shot sailed high and ricocheted off the crossbar. McKenna Wiscombe, who had only scored one goal all season, calmly approached the box. The whistle blew; she baited right and fired left.
With Wiscombe's decisive kick, Mountain View (9-8-0) shocked the Thunderbirds in the shootout, 8-7, after the match had finished in a 0-0 draw. The shootout victory ended Mountain View's three-game postseason losing streak as the Bruins advanced to the second round for the first time since 2007.
“It’s exciting. We haven’t won a playoff game in probably six years. We’ve gotten to the playoffs, but we haven’t won in a long time,” Mountain View coach Sara Atuaia said. “It was hard-fought both ways; I think it was pretty evenly matched.
“We’ve been practicing PKs all week,” Atuaia continued. “We knew it could come down to this, so that practice paid off today. A lot of nerves to get through it. Shoot, when the crowd is cheering, ‘Choke’ — ahh!”
Timpview (11-4-2) took a 3-2 advantage during the PKs, but Mountain View goalkeeper Natalie Hall immediately followed with a diving block to the lower-left corner on the ensuing attempt. Tied 5-5 in the second session, both Hall and Timpview ‘keeper Daryl Kaufusi recorded consecutive saves before Wiscombe’s game-winner.
“You try and prepare the girls as best as you can, but when it comes down to it they’ve got to be the ones that get their nerves in check and you’re over there biting your nails,” Atuaia said. “I could hardly watch at times, especially when we would miss. It was very nerveracking to watch your team go through PKs, and it’s so hard to lose on PKs. You never really want it to go to that, but it’s the way soccer is played.”
The Bruins made critical adjustments after falling in the second week of the season to the Thunderbirds, 3-0.
“We tried to put more pressure on their backline. I changed a formation a little bit. The first time we played them we didn’t get good looks on net,” Atuaia said. “So, I tried to match them up a little defensively better so we could get more pressure. We tried to get them one-on-one.
“I think just playing them once we got a feel for their style of play — I think the second time we were more prepared. Also a few girls that didn’t play the first game were back from vacation. I think with some starters we had back and having played was a benefit. That helped us.”