Mercy wins SCC girls soccer championship over Amity in penalty kicks

Photo of Joe Morelli
Mercy celebrates after winning the SCC girls soccer championship in penalty kicks over Amity on Thursday at West Haven’s Strong Stadium.

Mercy celebrates after winning the SCC girls soccer championship in penalty kicks over Amity on Thursday at West Haven’s Strong Stadium.

SCC / Contributed photo

WEST HAVEN — There was discussion. There was confusion. There were several stoppages in play during the dramatic penalty kick situation to determine the SCC girls soccer champion.

The last stoppage in Thursday night’s championship final came with second-seeded Amity’s Clara Cortright waiting to take the 13th penalty kick. She never got the chance.

Fourth-seeded Mercy was up 5-4 PKs at that point and once the officials completed that last conference, the Tigers had won their first outright SCC championship.

“We had out PK takers. They stepped up,” Mercy coach Marcus Harley said.

Megan Gallagher had the winning penalty kick, hitting it to the left side past Amity goalkeeper Grace Lodewick.

“I didn’t know it was sudden death. I just knew I had to make it and do it for my team. It worked out,” said Gallagher, a junior.

Mercy shared an SCC title in 2003 with Cheshire.

Gallagher’s PK made it 5-4 in favor of Mercy. Whether the officials lost track of how many had been taken, or whatever the reason was for all of the stoppages, once you get past the first set of five penalty kicks, it is supposed to be a sudden-victory or sudden-death PK situation.

After the first round of PKs, both teams had made four apiece. Then Mercy goalkeeper Melina Ford saved the PK attempt by Amity’s Macie Salado.

Harley then sent up Kate Donlan to take the next PK — except she had already taken and made one in the first session.

“The refs confused it and they told us we could do the second five could be any five, said if I wanted to do my first five again, I could do it again, so I said, ‘Why not send Kate Donlan up there,’” Harley said. “That caused all the confusion.”

Gallagher stepped to the line and made the deciding PK.

“When we took that sixth PK and went up 5-4, the ADs were around saying the game should be over. We were trying to explain that to the refs,” Harley said. “We called the ref over. They had it in their minds to go the full 5 (PK takers) and it was supposed to be sudden death once you get past the first five.”

Amity coach Owen Quigley refused to comment after the game.

“They played hard, they deserved it just as much as we deserve it,” Harley said. “I hope for the girls over at Amity just stay positive and don’t let this get them down and they can continue on in states (Class LL state tournament) because they are a good team.”

Amity had a 2-0 lead in the first half. Audrey Marin scored the game’s first goal less than 7 minutes into the contest, slipping the ball past Ford.

Iza Kurpios made it 2-0 in favor of the Spartans. The junior outraced a pair of Mercy defenders, then touched it past an oncoming Ford. The ball snuck inside the right post at the midway point of the first half.

Mercy cut the deficit in half with 9:29 left. An Amity defender tried to shield Mercy’s Lauren Kohs from the ball so Amity goalkeeper Grace Lodewick could get to it first.

But Kohs was able to get a foot on it and send it into the net. It was Mercy’s only shot attempt of the half.

Laney Smith tied it at 2 for Mercy a little less than 7 minutes into the second half. Mercy sailed four attempts over the crossbar after that.

Neither 10-minute overtime period provided much offense


Marin was named the SCC Player of the Year for the fourth time. She was the New Haven Register Area Player of the Year the last two years and will play at Dartmouth University next fall. Sheehan’s Rob Huelsman is the SCC Coach of the Year.

Player of the Game

Melina Ford, Mercy: Junior goalkeeper made a diving save of a penalty kick and had eight saves during regulation.


“Melina made the save that gave us the opportunity to win the game. It’s a weird feeling winning that game with that confusion knowing that the game should be over.” — Mercy coach Marcus Harley.; Twitter: @nhrJoeMorelli