September 26th, 2017

Miller's OT goal propels Jags to a win over Bullitt East

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Miller's OT goal propels Jags to a win over Bullitt East
Mercy's Maddie Mumford battles with Bullitt East's Madison Gregory for the ball / photo by Conor Revell

Mercy star midfielder Bailee Locke went out with a sprained right ankle leaving Hanna Funke to do corner kicks.

Funke was called upon in overtime when and answered the call she served a ball to Mikayla Miller who headed it in for a golden goal to give the Jaguars a 2-1 victory over visiting Bullitt East Tuesday night and secured the No. 1 seed in next month’s 24th District Tournament.

“We talked about how every run that we did during the summer when it was hot, it wasn’t fun, and you didn’t want to do it, but how you did it for this,” Mercy head coach Lara Gralheer said. “That’s what overtime is about. When it’s a golden goal, it’s best to score as quickly as possible, that was awesome, we got a set piece, took advantage of it, and finished. To see them finish that early is such a cool feeling”

The Jaguars (6-7) have won the last 16 games in the series however the Lady Chargers (10-7) are getting closer as the two went to PKs in the Sixth Region title game last year

It was Funke’s third assist of the season as she is normally an outside wing but due to injuries she was playing in the midfield against Bullitt East and booted her corner kick from the left side of the field.

“I just did what I had to do for my team,” Funke said. “I knew that nobody else was going to take the corner kick since Bailee was hurt. I stepped up; saw that Mikayla was open, and I aimed towards her so that she could get a shot.”

Locke normally does the corner kicks.       

“Hannah is normally an outside wing as a forward,” Gralheer said. “Because of injuries, we have had to make a change and move her to the midfield. She has worked extremely hard and has battled through some injuries herself so we have been working to get her up to speed. When we have her on the field, she’s a great asset, for her to strike that ball to Mikayla who was wide open, you couldn’t ask for a better way to finish the game.”

Miller found some space to get open despite a crowd of Lady Chargers and headed it to the left of goalkeeper Ninia Embry 54 seconds into overtime giving Mercy the win.

“I saw Funke was kicking the ball,” Miller said. “I just knew that she could get it to me and I knew I could get around the girl that guarding me because of how she was positioned. The ball came through, headed it in, and it was a goal.”

The Jaguars scored first when Londyn Bivens found space and booted the ball over Embry’s head and into the net putting Bullitt East in a 1-0 hole with 21:34 to play in the first half.

Bullitt East tied the game at one 93 seconds later when Bailey Chitwood headed in a pass from Carly Witt to the right of Mercy goalkeeper Morgan Scott.

Nobody was able to score the rest of regulation and the game went to overtime after 80 minutes of play.

“I really focused on shutting them down,” Scott said. “I wanted to make sure we had certain angles cut off and I had to work with my defense to keep organized and that Bullitt East didn’t get any open shots. If Bullitt East went wide I wanted to make that my defense watched the middle so that they didn’t get an easy cross in.”

Locke went out in the second half and the Lady Chargers put Scott to work firing eight shots after halftime, 15 for the game. Scott made seven saves.

“I think our game plan changed a bit when Bailee went out,” Gralheer said. “Anytime you have that type of leader on the field, things change, it was difficult to see her go down. It definitely wasn’t advantageous for us to not have her on the field. But it was a little bit of an emotional draw where we knew we had to win this for one of our players. You never want to see your players get hurt but to have that little bit of motivation to do it for her because she has done so much for us gave us a little bump to get over the hump.”

The Jaguars fired eight shots at Bullitt East, Embry made five saves.

Mercy and Bullitt East are liable to meet two more times as the two have met in the 24th District title and the Sixth Region championship game in each of the past five seasons. 


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