Even a Hollywood scriptwriter would have had a hard time drafting this one.
On Thursday, the Georgetown girls soccer team got to experience a fairytale ending to its Division 5 Round of 16 game on the road. Playing a Tahanto squad that knocked them out of the playoffs the year prior, the Royals got a walkoff goal from Kayla Gibbs in overtime, on a beautiful shot off a corner, to pull off the dramatic, 1-0, revenge victory.
But not even 48 hours later, all hell had broken loose.
Georgetown was loading onto the bus to depart for a two-hour ride to play No. 2 Monson in Saturday’s Div. 5 Quarterfinal, and it was doing so without starting goalie Cora Robinson on board — who had come down with a bad illness and couldn’t play. That was body shot No. 1 to the Royals, who then had to take body shot No. 2 when about halfway to Flynt Park, the bus blew a brake line and the team was stranded on the side of the highway for 90 minutes.
Again, try writing this script.
But even through all of that adversity, with a sophomore in Katie Davies playing goalie for the first time ever and a two-hour travel time nearly doubled, the Royals just continued to fight.
It unfortunately didn’t end in another fairytale, as No. 10 Georgetown fell to No. 2 Monson, 3-0, to see its season come to an end. But after trips to the Division 5 Quarterfinals in back-to-back years, coupled with this crazy finish to the 2023 campaign, the Royals’ program has certainly built an identity of hard work, grit and determination, and continues to pile up the success to back it up.
“The girls just didn’t quit, man,” said Georgetown coach Kevin Fair. “I was just really proud of them for everything they overcame. We had a long drive, we didn’t have our starting goalie, it was a very physical game which was their third this week, and they just kept fighting. I told them after how I was so proud of them, and how fortunate I am to be their coach.”
Oh yeah, and we didn’t even mention anything about the opponent yet.
Monson (20-0-1) is the state runner-up from a year ago, and has lost only three games combined over the last three seasons. The Mustangs feature a supreme talent in midfielder Kendall Bodak, who is committed to Division 1 Clemson, as well as a ridiculously high-scoring sophomore in Hannah Murphy. This truly is not a typo, but Murphy already has an unreal 128 career goals, scoring 24 as an eighth-grader, 57 as a freshman and 47 so far this year.
And Georgetown (11-8-2) kept them both off the board.
Well, to be fair, Bodak did assist on all three of her team’s goals, with the second one coming off a beautiful cross from 30 yards out that was headed in. But the Royals got a stellar performance from Avery Upite, who chased Bodak around for the full 80 minutes, and Abby Stauss, Lyla Schneider and Neiylah Marcelin — especially — made sure Murphy didn’t wreck the game.
And then there was Davies (18 saves) in net.
“Katie, she’s just a phenomenal athlete, and she did a heck of a job,” said Fair. “She said to me ‘I’ll do my best,’ and she absolutely did. (Monson’s) second goal belonged on SportsCenter, and she nearly saved that one, too. I can’t say enough about how she stepped up today and the job she did.”
Monson scored two early goals in the first half, but Georgetown didn’t quit.
According to Fair, his Royals “carried play over the final 20 minutes of each half,” and thought they cut into the lead with a goal just before halftime with Gibbs and Olivia Hiltz creating the pressure. But it was called off for an offsides, and the Mustangs essentially put the game away with a goal early in the second half to make it 3-0.
“It would have been interesting if that goal had stood, because we were on them,” said Fair. “Even after the game, their coach was very complimentary and said that we were the best team they’ve faced this year.
“But what I was most happy for our girls was that it didn’t let them affect what they accomplished this year. They had another great season, and I’m going to miss coaching them.”
Monson 3, Georgetown 0
Division 5 Quarterfinals
Saves: G — Katie Davies 18
Georgetown (11-8-2): 0 0 — 0
Monson (20-0-1): 2 1 — 3