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Third-ranked Thurston survives two Jesuit comebacks to win

SPRINGFIELD — After everything the Jesuit girls soccer team had been through this year, Saturday’s Class 6A state quarterfinal battle against Thurston seemed like just one more piece in the puzzle.

But this time, the Crusaders — who overcame a spate of injuries this year as well as challenges from the Metro League’s best — would not escape unscathed, pushing the third-ranked Colts into overtime and then penalty kicks before finally falling short 5-4. The Metro champion Crusaders, the sixth-ranked team in the state, ended their year at 12-2-3. Thurston, the Special District 1 champ, improved to 15-0-1 and advanced to beat No. 2 Grant 1-0 in Tuesday’s semifinals.

The Colts showed their skill right from the start of Saturday’s match, getting an early goal from Mikaila Riddle and coming very close to winning by that 1-0 margin.

But Jesuit wasn’t done yet, Not by a long shot, and indeed, it was a long shot by Jesuit’s Lexie Krueger in the 78th minute that angled into the Thurston goal and sent the match into overtime.

There was more excitement ahead too in overtime. Neither team scored in the first 10 minutes of overtime, but Thurston went ahead again on a long goal by Toni Malone, then saw their advantage evaporate a second time when Jesuit’s Simone Herzberg scored to force PKs.

But the Colts held the upper hand there, getting three straight successful PKs before Jesuit’s Lexi Frey missed wide right. After that, Thurston added two more PKs to seal the victory.

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