Wilkes' goal in second OT lifts O'Fallon past Belleville West

News-DemocratMay 6, 2014 

— A pair of O'Fallon seniors were not about to be denied on Senior Night.

Sydney Pfankuch scored from Quin Wilkes and Wilkes scored from Pfankuch, with Wilkes' goal providing the game-winner in the Panthers' 2-1 victory in two overtimes Tuesday against Belleville West.

Wilkes volleyed in a perfectly placed cross from the right side by Pfankuch with 42 seconds left in the second 10-minute OT as O'Fallon improved to 11-5-2 overall and 3-2 in the Southwestern Conference.

"It was an intense game," Wilkes said. "Putting it away in those final seconds, I'm ecstatic about it. No ties. We don't accept ties. We weren't going to leave this field without a win."

Pfankuch said the play couldn't have worked any better.

"I just had to take my time and take a breath before I hit it because I knew I was going for Quin," Pfankuch said. "It's really exciting. I'm just so happy for our team because we all worked so well together tonight and played our hearts out."

It was Wilkes' team-high 11th goal of the season, and it ripped the heart out of the Maroons after they played a strong second half and remained in contention behind senior keeper Mackenzie White, who made a half-dozen stellar saves.

But in the end, Wilkes was too much to handle.

"Quin Wilkes is an unbelievable player," Maroons coach Jason Mathenia said. "Credit goes to her. She does not stop. Our people who were man-marking her are tired. They're exhausted from having to deal with her.

"It was just an unbelievable play on Quin's part. For Carly Ratay to be on her as tight as she was and for Quin to position herself just right to get her foot on that ball to get it redirected to the goal ... Quin Wilkes is a very, very nice player."

Junior Sydnee Carroll scored the game-tying goal in the second half for the Maroons, who slipped to 9-5-2 overall and 2-3 in the SWC. The teams will meet again May 20 in the semifinals of the Class 3A Belleville West Regional.

"We wanted to come in here and play as a team, play like we're capable of playing, and I think we did that tonight," O'Fallon coach Craig Dippel said. "I felt we pressured them quite a bit all game, and we were waiting for something to go in. Their goalie made some exceptional saves.

"Fortunately, we got one there at the end. Quin just got a foot on it from a nice pass. It had some spin on it and went over the keeper's head."

The Panthers took a 1-0 lead at 13 minutes, 25 seconds when Wilkes pushed in on the right side and fed Pfankuch in front of the left post for her fourth goal of the season. The Maroons wanted an offsides call, but it was not forthcoming.

"I honestly don't know whether I was offsides, but it was close," Pfankuch said. "I slid in there, so I earned it."

Carroll's goal at 54:43, her 15th of the season, came after she beat two defenders and pushed a shot past junior goalie Megan Burke.

"She's a very capable playing of creating moments like that," Mathenia said. "We need more of them."

Carroll had an opportunity to win it for the Maroons in the first overtime, but she shot high from inside the box.

"We meet O'Fallon again in two weeks, and this time, it will be at our place," Mathenia said. "Hopefully, we'll have a game plan together for the regional."

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at dwilhelm@bnd.com or 239-2665.

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