FRANKLIN TWP.--- Allison Gebhart tried to figure out which way she would dive in the fifth round of penalty kicks.
But no matter how much thought the Delsea goalkeeper put into the situation, she knew there had to be some luck involved.
Gebhart guessed correctly, as she dove to her right to make the only stop of the penalty shootout to clinch Delsea’s South Jersey Group 2 title over Cinnaminson.
“I usually try to watch their hips, but you don’t know,” Gebhart said. “It’s a 50-50 shot. You just tell yourself you got it and go for it.”
Gebhart’s save came after one of the most evenly matched games of the season, as neither side created a wave of significant chances through 100 minutes of regulation and extra time.
“We were both evenly matched and it was a really good game so you always have to be prepared for it,” Gebhart said.
As her teammates watched the final penalty, they had confidence in Gebhart to make the save, especially after Kylie Brown converted Delsea’s fifth penalty.
“The five of us that were up there, we were like Kylie just has to make hers and Alli needs to make one more save,” Delsea’s Haley Kahana said. “Obviously we were all sitting there waiting for Kylie to make it and she made it. Of course Alli makes that phenomenal save. We knew it. We wanted it. We knew she had it.”
As Gebhart denied the shot, a rush of teammates and fans surrounded her and lifted the goalkeeper on to everyone’s shoulders.
“It means everything,” Gebhart said. “This is what we’ve been working for since the beginning of the season.”
Delsea, who lost on penalty kicks to Haddonfield in the SJSCA tournament earlier this season, was more than prepared for penalty kicks this time around.
“I was pretty nervous but we had practiced it so many times, our coach told us to get on the line and practice it until you get it right,” Kahana said. “That’s exactly what we did and we came out here it was no different. I knew my team had it and I was so confident in my goalkeeper. We can’t do anything without her.”
Although Delsea’s been victorious in countless other sports, Friday’s victory marked the first time the girls soccer team won the sectional title in 25 years.
“As a senior, I wanted this so bad,” Kahana said. “We’ve been saying “Get To States” since the second we put our feet on the lines to do sprints in preseason. We brought it home and I’m just so proud.”