When you have mad skills like Kristen Dodson, you can get mad at yourself for not finishing off a great opportunity, even if it was set up my your very own skills.
But the Waubonsie Valley senior attacker is so skilled that she tends to create opportunities to make up for the rare times in which she doesn't finish off those golden chances.
With the score tied 1-1 in the second half of Wednesday night's Upstate Eight Conference championship game against St. Charles North, Dodson flashed some nice foot work while spinning open in front of the North Stars net only to blast a short-range shot right at goalkeeper Shelby Stitz, who made the save and also stopped another hard shot from Mackenzie Fuller moments later.
But instead of getting down, Dodson turned around and delivered a spectacular play, one which she finished off this time and lifted the Warriors to a 2-1 victory and a second straight UEC title match defeat of St. Charles North.
This time the speedy Dodson dribbled halfway up the field, first weaving her way past a pair of defenders and then splitting two more North Stars before unleashing a shot past Stitz for the game-winner with 19:14 left on the clock in the second half.
"I was looking for someone to pass it to, but everyone got caught offsides on the offsides trap so, you know, I just went on and took it myself," Dodson said of her 18th goal of the spring, one that extended Waubonsie Valley's unbeaten string to 20 matches.
"I got kind of mad because I went to place it and it went right to the keeper's arms," Dodson said of her earlier threat. "So I was like, I need to finish this one to redeem myself, so I just wanted to place it."
The game-winner came just three minutes after the North Stars (14-4-2) had evened things up at 1-1 on a goal by junior midfielder Lizzie Parrilli, who took a nice feed from Ashlyn Walter and buried a low shot past Warriors keeper Emma Rigby and into the right side of the net.
"I think it was just a lot of hard work," Parrilli said the equalizer. "We had been working on those types of finishes in practice. I knew if I just focused on what we had been working on it would go in."
St. Charles North, looking more toward next week's state series, sat a couple of nicked up starters on Wednesday and lost to the Warriors in the UEC finals for the second straight year. Even so, Parrilli thinks the match should serve her team well as a tuneup for the playoffs.
"They're definitely a great team with great skill players and they all work together very well," she said of the 17-1-3 Warriors. "So it was a good game to prepare us for the upcoming games because obviously we're going to have some hard competition coming up."
The first half did not feature a lot of scoring chances, but then a pair of long-range shots off the crossbar late in the half proved to play a big role in the outcome. First came a shot from almost 30 yards out off the foot of the North Stars' Sophie Pohl that hit the bottom of the crossbar and came down just outside the line.
Less than 60 seconds later the Warriors' Morgan Kemerling unleashed a carbon copy of a shot only this time the 30-yard rocket off the crossbar came down across the line to give the hosts a 1-0 lead at the half.