Chris Allen never likes to see a girls’ high school soccer game decided by a shootout.
But if it’s going to happen, he’d prefer to win it.
And that’s what happened on Tuesday night, when Allen’s second-ranked Ankeny Centennial squad won a shootout at No. 11 Johnston, 6-5, to post a 1-0 victory in its CIML Central Conference opener.
“Winning in PKs isn’t the same as winning on the field,” Allen said. “It’s a different type of challenge, but there’s something you can take away from it. We have been practicing our PKs, and I think it showed.”
It took seven shooters to decide the outcome. The Jaguars rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie the score at 4-4 on a goal by Macy Epp, which sent the shootout into sudden death.
After both teams converted their sixth chance, the Dragons missed on their seventh attempt. That gave Centennial sophomore Elizabeth Overberg an opportunity to end the game, and she didn’t miss.
“Our shooters were confident,” Allen said. “They wanted to be in those situations.”
The Jaguars are now 6-0 on the season and have yet to allow a goal during regulation. The Dragons dropped to 1-2.
Allen said his team will use the game as a learning experience.
“Johnston did a really nice job of frustrating us all night long. We had more chances than they did, but we hit the post three or four times,” he said. “The game was a struggle for us on a variety of levels. The girls just had to find a way to work together and fight through it, and that’s what they did.”