CHESAPEAKE CITY — All Lexi Cook was thinking about was to get the ball onto the net when she stepped up to the penalty spot in the eighth minute of overtime in a Susquehanna Division girls’ soccer battle between Bohemia Manor and North East Monday night.
Cook went to her left and the ball hit the back of the net for the golden goal, giving the Eagles a 2-1 hard-fought overtime victory over the visiting Indians.
“Don’t miss the goal,” Cook laughed about her mindset before taking the game-winning shot. “I just wanted to end the overtime and win the game on Senior Night. I always shot that way with my left foot.”
Cook’s game winner capped a back-and-forth, tightly-contested affair that saw both teams play well throughout and create several scoring chances.
Even though North East had more possession and shots in the first 20 minutes of the game, the Eagles were the ones who scored first when a Katie O’Hare shot found the back of the net to make it 1-0.
Bo Manor kept its lead at the halftime break, but despite trailing, North East head coach Matt Roberts said that he told his players that they just need to keep it up because they were doing enough to earn the victory.
“I told them to keep playing like they were because I felt like they were playing well enough to win. I think the way we played tonight, if we do it against most teams, we’re going to win most games,” Roberts said. “Soccer doesn’t work out that way sometimes.”
Both teams continued to create chances in the second half, but this time it was North East who broke through when Allyson Miklas scored in the game’s 67th minute to equalize it at 1.
Neither team could get the go-ahead goal in the final 13 minutes of regulation, sending the game into overtime. During the break before extra time, Eagle head coach Lissy Dean gathered her team together and told them this is the situation they play for.
“Right before overtime, I told them ‘This is why we play hard. You have the moment. This is the glory. You could take it, or they could. We were so evenly matched. It was about who wants to step up? Who wants to be a hero,’” Dean said. “This is the beauty of sports, is that we get to play in these situations. I hope they can enjoy it and can realize that this is why we put in the work – from playing in 100 degree heat or when it’s not a gorgeous night out. This is the reward for all of their hard work.”