When things go right, they go right.
That’s what Peoria Notre Dame freshman goalie Lucas Fontana was told by head coach Mike Bare just before the penalty kicks phase of the Irish’s eventual 1-0 victory over Collinsville Friday in the championship game of the class 3A sectional.
Fontana went right to block three of five penalty kicks, the last of which secured the win for the Irish (14-7-2) who advance to Tuesday's super-sectional.
"It's so exciting," said Fontana. "Coach said the game plan was to go right and that they were going to go right. We been practicing PK kicks in practice and we're pretty solid. This is amazing."
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Collinsville’s season is over with a 12-8-2 record.
There were not a lot of offensive chances for either team with just three total shots on goal in the first half.
In the second half, with nine minutes remaining, Collinsville forward Zane Baker drilled an open look from 30 feet out that was denied by a sprawling Fontana.
"Lucas came up huge tonight, he's not the tallest in stature but he's so confident," said Bare.
Notre Dame almost scored when Max Vonachen's shot went off the post with one minute left in regulation.
The Irish went on to win the penalty kicks, 2-1, and the game.
Freshman Noah Madrigal put the Irish ahead in the shootout 1-0 with a laser to the left of Collinsville goalie Brett Niedzwiecki. But the Kahok's would tie it right back with a goal from Clay Hartman. Then senior Seamus Libert would finish the scoring before Fontana's final heroic save.
"To be in the elite 8 now and to have a shot to go to state tournament with a win on Tuesday, I'm really proud of these guys. We've had some ups and downs this season but we've improved and we are at that point now where we want to be."