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Benilde-St. Margaret's players celebrate the overtime goal that gave the Red Knights a 3-2 victory over Blake for the 1A girls' title (Bruce Bisping photo.).

Dana Buckhorn saw this coming.

Lining up for a free kick in overtime of Thursday’s Class 1A girls’ soccer state championship game, the Benilde-St. Margaret’s senior said “it was a good spot for a free kick and I just had good vibes going into it.”

Buckhorn had factored into both overtime goals that sent the top-ranked Red Knights to the title game. Her 25-yard free kick deflected off a Blake player and into the net. She was awarded the goal, which cemented a 3-2 victory and the school’s first girls’ soccer championship.

The Red Knights avenged a loss to Blake in the 2011 title game and completed an undefeated season (21-0-1). A scoreless draw against No. 2 Blake (17-3-2) was the only blemish on their record.

“We came in knowing we had to prove something but also knowing that we had the ability to win if we played our best soccer,” Red Knights midfielder Kelly Pannek said.
“Three overtime games, three wins — that’s hard work. No one rolled over for us.”

Pannek scored in the 58th minute off a Haley Jerabek throw-in. Her goal in the 25th minute was the first Blake surrendered in the tournament.

Blake’s Lydia Sutton opened the scoring with her fourth goal of the tournament in the 11th minute. Teammate Maggie Warner forced overtime with a 30-yard goal in the 73rd minute.

Blake coach Paul Menge felt his team carried momentum into overtime.

“All their goals today came off dead balls — a throw-in, a corner and a foul,” Menge said. “But that’s the game we signed up for. Sometimes the ball takes a bounce where you want it to, sometimes it doesn’t.”

DAVID LA VAQUE

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