Ramer's buzzer-beater lifts K-M over Lourdes
If the 99 goals that Laurel Ramer had scored beforehand tended to all blur together, the Kasson-Mantorville soccer star will never forget No. 100.
Ramer beat a defender, the goalie, and the clock Tuesday evening at Rochester Regional Sports Stadium, driving down field and scoring with 5 seconds on the clock to lift third seed K-M to a dramatic 2-1 win over top seed Rochester Lourdes in the Section 1A championship game.
"It was a sweet goal," said Ramer. "I knew it might be my last chance to make something happen."
Ramer also scored on a penalty kick 13 minutes into the second half as K-M erased Lourdes' 1-0 halftime lead, and now the KoMets are headed to the state tournament for the first time.
"This is incredible," said Ramer, one of just three seniors on a young K-M team. "At the beginning of the season I knew we had some good young talent but I'm kind of surprised that we got this far."
Just as the large crowd at RRSS was beginning to think overtime, Ramer got to the loose ball near the 40-yard marker on the soccer/football field with less than 20 seconds remaining, and she protected the ball as she charged down to the goal line.
Without breaking stride Ramer unleashed a low line-drive near the football goal line, 10 yards from the goal, and her right-footed shot zipped past Lourdes goalie Anna Branstad and into the lower left corner of the net.
"I glanced up at the clock to see that there was 16 seconds left, and then I just hoped there would be enough time," Ramer said. "I thought I better not blow this."
"I tried my hardest to catch up with her, but I guess I just didn't run fast enough," said Lourdes defender Krissy Resman.
"Resman is a great defender, and once Laurel got past her I thought she had a shot at it," said K-M coach Chris Soderberg. "When I saw there was time I thought she was going to bury it."
No one at the stadium was surprised that Ramer delivered for the KoMets. The speedy senior midfielder who will play college soccer at the University of Wyoming has scored over 20 goals in four straight seasons. She has 28 goals and 13 assists this season.
"Great players make great things happen, and that's what happened on that goal," Lourdes coach Sarah Groven said.
"I give a lot of credit to (Ramer); I have played with her for seven years in the summer time and she's a great player," said Lourdes senior midfielder Olivia Galkowski. "I was standing in the center of the field, and I could tell (she was going to score); she has such great footwork, I knew it was going in."
Lourdes took a 1-0 lead with 11:48 in the first half when junior forward Emily Glynn scored unassisted on a 20-yard blast from the left corner of the box. She gathered up a rebound after Lourdes defenders had smothered Galkowski as she drove toward the goal.
Lourdes controlled the ball more in the first half, and Groven felt the Eagles should have had a bigger lead at the break.
"It's an unfortunate way to lose (on a last-second goal), especially when we had 'em on their heels in the first half," she said. "We had plenty of offensive opportunities that we just didn't capitalize on."
K-M tied the score with 27:43 left in the second half when Ramer scored a penalty kick from 13 yards, after she was knocked down by a Lourdes player inside the box. Ramer froze the goalie and scored easily into the lower left corner of the net.
"That's a tough spot for the goalie to be in; more often than not that goal is going to be scored," Groven said. "I think that PK (penalty kick) kind of hurt our spirit a bit."
Lourdes was attempting to repeat as section champion and get back to state for the eighth time in program history. The Eagles finished fourth last year; this season they finished with a 14-5 record.
"You win some, you lose some," said Galkowski, one of six Lourdes seniors. "Last year we had our run (to state), and everybody should get the opportunity to experience that.
"K-M is a great team and I wish them the best. I hope they win state."