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Olivia Lauffer’s late goal helps Gonzaga Prep beat Mead in shootout

For most of the game it seemed like Mead had the better of play, and the Panthers nursed a 1-0 lead into the game’s final moments. But in soccer all it takes is one play – specially in the raw conditions under the lights on Wednesday evening.

Olivia Lauffer scored in the 79th minute and Gonzaga Prep prevailed over visiting Mead 2-1 after a scoreless overtime and 5-4 shootout in Greater Spokane League play in the chilly, breezy, damp conditions.

Prep’s freshman goalie Eden Elliott made a diving save to her right on Jordan DelPizzo to ice it in the fifth round of penalty kicks.

Prep (3-2-1-0, 11 points) was pushing late in the second half to find the equalizer, and a rough tackle on the left wing earned the Bullpups a free kick from roughly 22 yards out.

Lauffer directed the kick into the penalty area and it took a weird squib on the drenched turf and went past goalie Ashlynn Eggleston and into the net to tie it.

“You just get it toward the goal,” Gonzaga Prep coach Billy Barmes said of the tying goal. “That’s kind of the mindset in a wet game is get that ball as hard as you can toward the goal and hope that something good will happen.”

“Mead is always a strong opponent and I’m just proud of the girls for continuing to fight all the way through to the end – especially with the rain kicking up there, made it difficult for both teams.”

On the other side, it was a tough way for Mead (4-1-0-1, 13 points) to settle for one point in the shootout.

“It is tough, but that’s the game of soccer,” Mead coach Kevin Houston said. “Sometimes it rolls against you. But we deal with it. We still played strong into overtime.

“I thought that we controlled the tempo, controlled the game. We created way more opportunities, some corners, and shots banging off the post.”

Even though it didn’t go his team’s way, Houston lauded their effort.

“The girls played tough,” he said. “It was an exciting game and what I saw from my team in this game I’ve been wanting to see all season. They showed something to me and I think they showed something to themselves about the quality of soccer we can play and the player we have on this team.”

Mead’s Olivia Sloan picked up the first goal of the game in the 55th minute. She fired a free kick from 20 yards out on goal and Elliott jumped and tried to push the ball over the crossbar, but it bounced back into play and slipped behind her into the goal.

Around the GSL

Central Valley 2, Ferris 1: Kaelyn Barnes scored a pair of first-half goals and the Bears (6-0-0-0) defeated the Saxons (1-5-1-0) to remain undefeated. A.J. Crooks recorded four saves for CV.

Mt. Spokane 7, Shadle Park 1: Emily Williams scored twice and the Wildcats (4-2-0-0) defeated the Highlanders (2-4-1-0). Allie Baribault also scored a goal off an assist from Williams, and assisted on both of Williams goals.

University 3, Lewis and Clark 2 (SO): Kendall Bastine tied it in the 72nd minute and the Titans (4-2-2-1) defeated the Tigers (3-3-0-2) in a shootout. Bastine added a marker in the shootout and Tessa Thornton scored the other regulation goal for U-Hi.

North Central 8, Rogers 1: Mackenzie Letsch scored two goals and the Indians (2-4-1-2) defeated the Pirates (0-6-0-0) at Merkel Field. Jaeden Sandstrom and Emily Lyman added goals for the Indians.