DeWitt, Mich. (WLNS) – 2015 was the last time the DeWitt girls soccer team didn’t end a season with the Capital Area Activities Conference Gold Cup.
The Panthers won the last four Gold Cups, missed an opportunity for its fifth straight last season due to the canceled season, and had a chance to win another title against rival Haslett.
The two teams met in the regular season and it was the Panthers who took home a 3-2 win on April 27.
In round two, goals were hard to come by. Both teams had chances, but couldn’t put a dent into the scoreboard. Meaning a shootout was required to determine a winner.
It was the first time all season Haslett found itself in a shootout opportunity. For DeWitt, it was just two days ago, in the Gold Cup semifinals against Williamston, when it won in shootout fasion.
Both teams found the back of the net in their first penalty kick – Emma Campbell scored for Haslett and Mara Lynch scored for DeWitt. The second round of penalty kicks is when the Vikings took the lead, thanks to the foot of Carly Doran.
Haslett got the save it was looking for in round three – junior goalie Ally Maloney dove to her right to make the save of her life to keep the Panthers off the board.
“It just doesn’t feel real,” Maloney said. “I haven’t really saved a PK before in a game. It’s just crazy and it doesn’t feel real yet. Really I’m just on a high right now.”
Haslett then got a goal from Maddie Fant, and later, the game-winner from junior midfielder Audrey Archambault to give Haslett a 4-2 win in penalty kicks and the 2021 CAAC Gold Cup title.
“I made the girls nervous because I kept walking back and forth behind them. They didn’t like it and they told me ‘You’re making me nervous,’ well I’m like ‘I’m nervous myself,'” Haslett coach David Littleton said. “I didn’t want it to come down to it (penalty kicks), but I knew that if it did come down to it, we had the players who could make the shot, and we just needed one big save.”
“Soccer’s my love and I love to do it and it’s just so incredible to do that for my school, and for our team and for everyone,” Archambault said, reflecting on her game-winning goal. “When I stepped up I was really confident, a little nervous, but I was ready to hit it in, and when I did, I can’t even describe it. It was so great.”