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GIRLS SOCCER: Pardoski’s OT goal sends Stoney Creek past Dakota

| June 7, 2016 | Comments (0)

BY DAN STICKRADT

SENIOR EDITOR

dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com

Twitter: @LocalSportsFans

TROY — Taylor Pardoski said she felt a little bit of extra ‘power’ Tuesday night.

Although nothing quite like the mythical Force of the Star Wars- famed trilogy, Pardoski dug deep to score a pair of goals, including the game-winner in overtime, in willing Rochester Stoney Creek to a 2-1 regional semifinal victory over Macomb Dakota at Troy Athens.

The win sends 10th-raked Stoney Creek into Friday’s 7 p.m. regional finals for the first time since 2005. The Cougars will face 14th-ranked Troy Athens for the right to go to the Final Four on the line.

Pardoski scored her 20th and 21st goals of the season with the game-winning tally coming with 4:18 remaining in the first of two 10-minute overtime periods.

“I just felt a little more power when I took the shot,” smiled Pardoski, an All-State Second Team honorees last season. “I don’t know what it was, but I felt more power. It felt like the hardest shot I have ever taken. Going on farther than we did last year was important to me.”

On the game-winner, the Elon University-bound senior cut the ball back towards the middle of the field, beat two defenders before sneaking a low shot inside the far post. The Cougars’ defense held on in the end to send Stoney Creek into the regional finals.

Dakota coach Chris Corteg knew what a scoring threat Pardoski was and was not surprised of her performance.

“She’s a handful,” said Corteg. “I’ve coached her in ECNL with Vardar and I know what type of player she is. They’re all about getting her one-on-one. She’s physically aggressive. She runs at you. She can hold the ball, turns well and has decent speed. She’s one of those players that just has a nose for scoring goals. She can beat you inside and she can beat you outside. If you cheat one way, she’ll beat you the other way.”

Stoney Creek (15-3-3) lost in the regional semifinals last season to Grand Blanc, falling 3-2 in a shootout despite a 19-4 shots edge. Pardoski said that the returnees on the squad did not want to go through that again.

“Last year we had some really good seniors, but our season ended a little bit early. We didn’t want it to end again the same way,” said Pardoski. “The seniors on this team want to keep playing.”

Stoney Creek broke the stalemate with 14:26 left in the first half. Pardoski retrieved a cross from junior midfielder Emily Solek and beat her mark near the end line before slipping a shot across the goal mouth and inside the far post.

Dakota (14-4-4) netted the equalizer when junior Harley Gozelski’s through ball was cashed in by senior Cassidy Kowalski on a breakaway opportunity just 7:18 before halftime.

Stoney Creek wound up holding a 20-11 shots edge through 100 minutes of play, including 11-8 with shots on frame. Gina Cerny recorded the win in net for Stoney Creek with seven saves.

The last time the Cougars reached the regional finals was 2005 — and that was the final year Stoney Creek was a Division 2 school. The Cougars made the leap up to D-1 in 2006.

“This is our first time being this far being (a Division 1 school),” said Mittelstadt. “We’re kind of pioneering new ground. We’ve really preached taking it one game at a time this year. We learned the hard way last year, looking too far ahead. There’s too many good teams to do that.”

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About Dan Stickradt: DAN STICKRADT | SENIOR EDITOR dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com View author profile.

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