FRANKLIN TWP.— Katie McCormick sprinted back to her teammates from the penalty spot, but she had to wait a few extra seconds to be embraced by the entire Haddonfield squad.
McCormick scored the game-winning penalty kick in Haddonfield’s first-round Win Over Delsea in the SJSCA tournament, but the referees didn’t signal the end of the game until after the sophomore made it all the way back to the center circle.
“I started running back because I thought that was it, but we kept going,” McCormick said.
“I didn’t know what was happening,” Haddonfield sophomore defender Katie Hatch said. “Did they not keep track?”
McCormick’s game-winning spot kick set the ninth-seeded Bulldawgs up with a quarterfinal clash against No. 1 Shawnee on Monday.
The sophomore midfielder scored the lone regulation goal for Haddonfield 10 minutes into the second half, as she patiently waited for the ball to come back to her on the left edge of the penalty area following a corner kick.
“I’m always looking for the ball to pop out because I know that’s where most of our opportunities come from,” McCormick said. “If we can’t get a head ball, we have to put it back in every time.”
Not even a minute after Haddonfield scores, Delsea found the back of the net through Haley Kahana.
After the equalizer, the Bulldawgs tightened up in defense and made sure no other goals were scored by the home team.
“You have to get back on the horse right away,” Hatch said. “Mark up and stay composed.”
“As a defense, we stay together, stay composed and get back,” Hatch said “Composure is the No. 1 thing. You just have to keep it all and it’s all or nothing in the end.”
Haddonfield was set up for the win by Maya Olimpio’s save in the fourth round of penalties.
“She’s come up with plenty of big saves recently,” McCormick said. “We have so much confidence in her to keep the ball out of the goal.”
On Haddonfield’s fifth penalty, McCormick slotted home from the spot to ignite the delayed celebration.
“I know that I have to stay confident in myself,” McCormick said. “I block out everybody else. I just worry about burying the shot because I know it means a lot.”