GIRLS SOCCER: Brightwell leads Elkins to shootout win over Dulles

As one of the best goalkeepers in

Fort Bend ISD, Karly Brightwell is expected to have great

performances. That's why nobody is surprised by what the Elkins

High School senior did on Friday night.

Brightwell saved five shots in

regulation and then five more after that as Elkins left its home

field with a shootout victory over Dulles. The teams played to a

scoreless draw during regulation. Elkins won the shootout, 3-2,

after it went to an eighth shooter.

Each team gets a point in the

standings for the regulation tie. Elkins (0-2-1) gets an extra

point for winning the shootout. Brightwell allowed a goal to

Dulles' Kristen Badora to begin the shootout. She saved five of the

next seven to give the Lady Knights a chance to win.

"Not only is she a good goalie, she

is a one-of-a-kind leader on this team," Elkins coach Chelsea

Larsen said. "The girls have 100 percent faith in her ability going

into the shootout. She was confident, and we were confident in

her."

Dulles (0-1-2) did not score again

during the first five shooters of the shootout, but with goalkeeper

Dana Layne almost equally up to the task as Brighwell, it looked

like Badora's goal might be enough. Elkins' Kim Isaacson forced the

sudden death shooters by scoring on Elkins' final attempt in

regulation.

Each goalkeeper made a save on the

sixth shooter, and then Katherine Civitillo and Dulles' Samantha

Mundy scored goals to force the eighth round. Sara Pena scored for

Elkins, and then Brightwell stopped Melissa Finley's shot to clinch

the victory for the Lady Knights.

The shootout saves were nice, but no

save was more clutch than the one she made in the first half.

Dulles won a free kick about 20 yards away from the goal and

outside the right post. Lena Rafeedie hit a high shot that dipped

just under the cross bar. Brightwell backpedaled and punched it

over the goal to save her clean sheet, and ultimately the game.

"Every save I made is with the help

of my team," Brightwell said. "We have to get out there and we have

to score. Lady luck hasn't been on our side quite yet. This team is

really developed and we're going to start winning games."

The free kick was one of three

Dulles had near the penalty area during the first half. The Lady

Vikings had the edge during that time but never created anything

else dangerous. They forced Brightwell to save three shots in the

first half and two shots in the second half.

The defense fared well and limited

Elkins to six shots. Only one of those was on target. Dulles'

Krista Picciotti had a game-high four shots, including a late free

kick in a similar spot. Brightwell saved it to make it three

straight games in which Dulles has not scored a goal.

"We had some great passes,

aggression and communication," Dulles coach Cholly Dubeau said.

"That's everything we've been practicing. We just unfortunately

weren't able to put one in the back of the net that counted.

Overall I'm proud of the girls. There is no shame in this game

tonight."

Dulles still has a one-point lead on

Elkins, but Elkins' first two games were against two of the top

three teams in the district. The Lady Knights had leads against

Austin and Kempner before losing to both. In the long run losses to

those teams are not bad because most of the other teams in the

district will lose to them.

Getting an extra point out of

Friday's game was significant because, like Elkins, Dulles is

expected to be one of the teams in the hunt for the playoffs.

"Kempner and Austin were hard losses

for us, but we played well in those," Larsen said. "We're looking

up at this point. Tonight is huge for our confidence."