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Upstart Alleghany girls drop OT thriller in state semis

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The best girls soccer season in Alleghany history is over.

After her team equalized late, Kayla Romine capitalized on a defensive miscue in the second overtime period to give Poquoson a 2-1 victory over the Mountaineers in the VHSL Class 2 semifinals at Spartan Field.

The Islanders (10-10) advance to face Glenvar in Saturday’s title game.

Alleghany (17-3-2), which never had a winning season before last year, was less than 12 minutes away from winning this game in regulation despite having only one available substitute in the second half.

“We didn’t have a lot to come in, and they just toughed it out,” said Mountaineers coach Bob Donnan, whose thin roster was trimmed even further when senior midfielder Carlee Lanford departed with a knee injury in the first half. “We about had enough.”

Kinley Eggleston put Alleghany ahead 1-0 in the 69th minute of a scheduled 80, scoring on a breakaway after Poquoson’s goalkeeper got caught off her line. The Islanders equalized six minutes later, as Quinn Sparkman’s corner kick fell to Skylar Brown, who finished from close range.

“They stepped up and got it done,” Donnan said. “The defensive lapse hurts you. We played 90 minutes tonight, and the crux of the game is probably six or eight minutes of that.”

Early in the second overtime period, Alleghany goaltender Emma Williams lined up a goal kick. Her miscued attempt glanced off defender Payton Reynolds, who was turned away from the goal, and the ball fell to Romine.

“I saw that as an opportunity to go over and just take the shot,” Romine said. “It’s overtime, so you’ve got to do everything you can.”

Williams, who suffered a serious head injury diving to make a save in the regional final, had no chance to stop this one.

“Emma is an amazing goalie,” Donnan said. “Emma is playing with 15 stitches in her head. She has been one of the reasons we’re such a good team. She’s tough back there. But she didn’t hit it well. Payton was actually turned away from her, I’m pretty sure. Normally that ball would be another 20 yards downfield.”

Poquoson killed off the final three minutes to secure the victory, ending the careers of seven Alleghany seniors.

“They’ve been together for a long ride,” Donnan said. “It’s hard to end this way, but they started as recreational soccer players, and then they went to travel soccer players, which is a huge adjustment for them. And now they’re playing in the [state semifinals]. Quite a story there.”

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