CENTRALIA — Doomed by penalty kicks -- again.
Kaskaskia College sophomore midfielder Emma Zion beat Southwestern Illinois College goalie Megan Ohm with the fourth of four straight successful penalty kick attempts as the Blue Angels edged SWIC on Thursday in the semifinals of the NJCAA Region 24 Women's Soccer Tournament.
Tied at 1 after regulation and a pair of 10-minute overtime periods, Kaskaskia (13-3) made it look easy during penalty kicks when Kylie Seyer and Marissa Burroughs both scored on shots that Ohm got a piece of, but couldn't control as they rolled into the net.
Blue Angels goalie Allison Koerkenmeier stopped the first two Blue Storm attempts and when Zion scored, the Blue Angels had an insurmountable 4-1 advantage
For SWIC (11-7) it marked the second year in a row its season has ended on penalty kicks.
"I knew we weren't the best in taking penalty kicks. That's why we've been working so hard on them," Blue Storm coach Chad Lignoul said. "But I thought we had the great equalizer in our goalie (Ohm). Hey, she got a hand on the first two, but couldn't control them,''
"But it's penalty kicks and this is two years in a row, we've lost the same way. It's tough.''
SWIC, which advanced to the semifinals with a win over Illinois Central College on Sunday, took a 1-0 lead when Erica Reed bounced a shot by Koerkenmeier with 20 minutes remaining in the first half.
Playing with the wind to its back, SWIC nearly made it 2-0 13 minutes later, but Koerkenmeier made back-to-back saves on shots by SWIC sophomores Mackenzie Knepper and Rachel Meyer.
"To be honest we didn't play very well at all in the first half. I told my manager (Bonnie) Burcham that I would have felt pretty good if we were up 2-0,'' Lignoul said. "Give their goalie credit. She came up big with two great saves.'''
Nevertheless, SWIC maintained its advantage until 15 minutes remained.
Kaskaskia sophomore and Region 24 Player of the Year Miranda Burroughs fired a high shot toward the goal from 40 yards out. The ball bounced off the right goalpost to sophomore Chelsey Henrichs who beat Ohm with the rebound to tie it at 1.
It stayed tied until the Blue Angels dominated in penalty kicks.
"The goal shouldn't have counted because there was a foul called on one of their girls on the play. But instead of blowing the play dead the referee was waiting for us to get possession of the ball," Lignoul said. "We didn't and they scored the tying goal.
"It's a tough way to end the season. But we've got a bunch of girls coming back next year. I was proud of the effort these girls gave all year. To start 1-4 and finish 11-7 tells you what kind of players we had this year..