HENDERSONVILLE Layne Massey volunteered to take the last shot.
It was a good decision for the Hendersonville High senior and her Lady Commando teammates, too.
Massey converted the final shot in the penalty kick shootout to give the host Lady Commandos a 2-1 victory over Station Camp on Tuesday evening at Drakes Creek Park’s Field of Dreams. It also clinched the District 9-AAA regular season title for the Lady Commandos.
Hendersonville (8-4-3 overall, 6-0 in District 9-AAA) prevailed by a 5-3 margin in the shootout after 100 minutes of soccer was insufficient to settle a 1-1 deadlock.
“Me and (classmate) Maddie Kimler said we wanted to take the last two (penalty kicks),” Massey said. “(Hendersonville head coach Russ Plummer) actually put me fourth to begin with and I ended up saying I’d go fifth.”
Massey, and the four Lady Commando shooters preceding her, all connected on their penalty kicks against Station Camp sophomore goalkeeper Morgan Schlarb. Junior Sydney Cason, senior Elizabeth Burns, sophomore Brooke Long and senior Maddie Kimler scored to put Massey in an enviable spot.
“Some of them said ‘hey, I want to take PKs.’ Give them credit for that,” Plummer said. “They stepped up and got the job done.”
Juniors Megan Brinkley, Lauren Smith and sophomore Ariana Orellana each scored for the Lady Bison (11-4-3, 5-2), who will be the No. 3 seed in the District 9-AAA Tournament that begins Saturday at Hendersonville.
“These girls have never been to PKs,” Station Camp head coach Thomas Morand said. “We practice spot kicks every day. (Hendersonville) hit five and we hit three out of four.
Schlarb made 11 saves for the Lady Bison, while Hendersonville junior Makensie Cotter made some key saves of her own in the second half.
Long scored Hendersonville’s only regulation goal 4:20 into the second half, but the Lady Commandos found themselves fending off Station Camp’s response later on in the half.
Brinkley’s cross found freshman Meagan Lombardi, who headed it past Cotter with 16:51 to play.
“We were just coming to see if we could play with them,” Morand said. “We were going to try and stand up to them and try to keep things in front of us. We knew we’d only get maybe four or five good chances. We’ve come a long way in a short time.”
Massey and her teammates weren’t too happy about giving up the lead.
“It made us angry and we wanted to come back harder,” Massey said. “We told ourselves that we were going to bring it back up. Obviously it took us a little too long.”
The Lady Commandos will travel to Gallatin on Thursday to conclude the regular season, while the Lady Bison are slated to host Columbia Academy on Thursday.
The District 9-AAA Tournament schedule will be released on Friday. Hendersonville will face eighth-seeded Wilson Central, while Station Camp will face the sixth-seeded team, either Lebanon or Gallatin. Those spots will be determined after Thursday’s matches. Lebanon would be fifth with a win over Wilson Central or a Gallatin loss, with the Lady Wave sixth.
“They’re peaking at the right time,” Morand said. “They’re coming together and they’re fighting. It was fun to watch the girls fight like they did and battle like they did against a great team.”
“It’s going to be more exciting,” Massey said. “Tournament time’s the best time of year.”
Reach Chris Brooks at 615-575-7118 or on Twitter @CB_SumnerSports.