Mary Mancin couldn’t get over how familiar Saturday’s state quarterfinal win against Eagles Landing felt.
For the second straight season, the North Hall girls (16-3) are headed to the Class AAA state semifinals thanks to the play of its senior keeper in the penalty kicks phase.
"This is just deja vu all over again," Mancin said after winning at the Brickyard.
The Columbus State signee was the driving force in the Lady Trojans’ scoreless win (3-2 in penalty kicks) against Eagles Landing in the third round. Mancin saved the Golden Eagles’ final kick in PK’s when she dove along the ground to her right, knocking the ball wide of the net.
If that sounds familiar, it should.
Last year, North Hall’s goalie had a game-winning save in penalty kicks on St. Vincent’s final attempt in the quarterfinal round at the Brickyard. Mancin noted her dive was a carbon-copy of last year’s save on the same side of the field.
"This game and last year’s game against St. Vincent’s were the exact same scenario," North Hall coach Nathan Wallace said. "It was just a very close, tight game."
The difference this year was Mancin made the save immediately after making the go-ahead kick in the fifth round of the penalty phase. She was told heading into PK’s by Lady Trojans assistant coach Jerome Samuels that the fifth and final kick was her responsibility.
Mancin was up to the challenge. Tess Patten and Julia Mathews also converted on kicks in for North Hall. Eagles Landing converted on attempts from Marissa Wicks and Kelly Bunn.
With the win, North Hall plays host to Spalding in the state semifinals Tuesday night at the Brickyard. Spalding (14-3) defeated Flowery Branch 4-3 Friday night in its quarterfinal matchup.
The penalty kicks phase wasn’t the only excitement in North Hall’s win in the quarterfinals. In the final minute of the first overtime period, the Lady Trojans played a free kick for the final shot. North Hall put three players around the ball and waited until the clock ran down to the final seconds, then Allie Wright took the potential game-winning shot that went off the side of the goal.
North Hall still hasn’t allowed a goal in the playoffs with wins against Eastside (6-0), Druid Hills (1-0) and Eagles Landing. The Golden Eagles were limited in their scoring opportunities with only one shot on goal in the first half.
"After the first half, I could tell this game was going to be a very even matchup," Wallace added. "I’m just happy with how our team responded."