WALNUT – Walnut High midfielder Krissy Slusser had never scored off a header in high school, and couldn’t remember ever finishing one that way.
She won’t forget this one.
After a tiring afternoon of rain and back-and-forth action, Slusser scored the most dramatic of goals, heading home Megan Leu’s cross with 45 seconds left in double overtime to lift the Mustangs to a 1-0 victory over visiting South Hills on Thursday.
The goal was a dagger for the Huskies (11-8-1, 5-2), who watched the Mustangs (14-4-2, 7-0) celebrate another San Antonio League title.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Huskies coach Scott Mocabee said. “It’s the second time in a row we put ourselves in a spot to possibly win. They’re a good team, I can’t say we should have or would have won. But you put yourself in spots to win, we get chances, then you come up short and lose like that. It’s tough to swallow.”
Mustangs assistant Tosha Davda joked with Slusser about finishing with her head, but she was all smiles after knocking home her team-leading 12th goal of the season.
“We just kept fighting,” Slusser said. “I don’t know how to describe putting that in, I just know it feels great. It was a great cross and I didn’t think about it, I just hit it hard and it was perfect.”
South Hills dominated the first half, but finishing was a problem with defenders Nikkie McKee, Helena Simich, Marissa Woods and Leu constantly clearing through balls and keeping Huskies forward Natalie Maxey in check.
The Huskies were awarded a free kick at the top of the penalty area early in the second half, but couldn’t get a clear shot on frame.
Huskies freshman Mayra Almazan created havoc late, and it nearly paid off when her left-footed shot in the 56th minute narrowly missed wide. Maxey had her chance in the 65th minute, sending a 35-yard shot barely over the crossbar.
In the first OT, Slusser’s cross to Erika Garay was headed just over the bar. Minutes later, South Hills’ Arianna Vaughn missed a shot at the near post.
Finally, in the 100th minute, Slusser finished it.
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