About three minutes remained when Courtney Senter lined up for a throw in.
With a loaded box, the Wakefield senior captain aimed for her tallest teammate.
The ball got lost in the crowd of Leesville Road blue and Wakefield jerseys before an own goal broke up 77-minute tie, handing the Wolverines a 1-0 victory over the previously undefeated Pride Wednesday.
“It was very exciting,” Senter said of her thoughts watching from near the line as the ball bounced in off the post. “We were all tired; it felt really good. (Beating Wakefield) feels like we accomplished something.”
Wakefield (11-5-1, 6-5-1 Cap-8 Conference) scored one goal the last time it faced Leesville, too. The Wolverines suffered a 3-1 loss to a team that had after Wednesday given up just six goals on the year. But they brought the pressure, especially in the first half. Wakefield managed steady possession throughout, firing eight shots and forcing Pride senior keeper Shannon Hardy into five first-half saves.
An early Wakefield opportunity came in the 17th minute, when junior forward Morgan Nanni found her teammate deep but Hardy batted down the attempt.
A few minutes later, Nanni wasn’t so generous. She dribbled a long pass from Tori Hansen inside and fired, the shot gliding over the net.
“We worked hard for the opportunities that we got,” Wakefield coach C.J. Komons said. “I always tell them if we keep the ball and we possess the ball, we’re going to get opportunities, and that’s what we did.”
Leesville (18-1-2) had ample chances to score, too. The Pride placed a kick in front of the net, but couldn’t capitalize with 28:10 showing in the first half.
Their coach Paul Dinkendor shouted from the sideline for his team to punch it in next time – but it never happened, even through several good looks and solid penetration.
Leesville will play Millbrook Friday for the conference title.
Three to know
Morgan Nanni, Wakefield: The junior forward brought the heat from off the bench. She constantly pressured Leesville, recording five shots. She also had a good eye for her teammates and penetrated well in opportune situations.
Meghan O’Ferral, Wakefield: The junior defender led Wakefield’s early charge of maintaining possession in the first half. She used her speed in space to break away from Leesville defenders in attempts of finding scoring opportunities.
Jordin Mosley, Leesville Road: The sophomore was successful in advancing the ball deep on multiple occasions for the Pride, not backing down from one-on-one situations at midfield. She was speedy and flew to the ball, most notably in the opening minutes of the second half.
Shannon Hardy, Leesville Road: The senior goalie kept the hosts out as best she could before the chaos in the 76th minute. She knocked away two crucial Wakefield shots in 10 minutes leading up the goal and leaped into several other attempts.
Jessika Morgan: 919-829-4538, @JessikaMorgan