The Bulldogs won their third straight OT game with a 2-1 win against Farmington in a shootout
FARMINGTON, Mo. -- Jacob Pewitt knew Farmington scouted him during Notre Dame's district semifinal.
Pewitt used that to his advantage Thursday in the shootout for the Class 2 District 1 boys soccer championship.
"I just looked in the right upper 90," Pewitt said. "I know he was watching [Tuesday] and I went left last night so it was time to switch it up a little bit. I knew exactly what I was going to do."
Pewitt converted his penalty kick to set the tone in the shootout for the Bulldogs. Notre Dame scored on four of its five kicks and goalie James Holloway made a kick save to lead the Bulldogs past Farmington 2-1.
"We worked really hard this year and the expectations for us were pretty low," Holloway said. "It feels really good that we were able to overcome that and work hard to get a district title again."
The victory was the third overtime win in four nights for the Bulldogs. Notre Dame scored in the first overtime to down De Soto in the quarterfinals Monday then knocked off Hillsboro on penalty kicks in the semifinals Tuesday before another shootout Thursday.
"My body is getting kind of beat up personally," Pewitt said. "It's physically pretty exhausting."
Notre Dame coach Brad Wittenborn said his team improved on penalty kicks during the season, which led to his confidence heading into Thursday's shootout.
"We were pretty bad on PKs in the Collinsville tournament," he said. "Believe it or not, sometimes out of adversity you learn something. We practiced them some, but I think mostly we found a better way to relax and a better approach to taking them. I felt pretty confident going in. It's still a shame someone has to lose on PKs."
Pewitt opened the shootout with a low shot to the right, the opposite direction he went against Hillsboro. Holloway said Pewitt's conversion on the opener helped him relax.
"I'd say it's really important because it tells you that you have a bit of a margin for error," he said. "It's not as depressing when you miss it."
Farmington answered then Joe Froemsdorf converted his kick to give Notre Dame a 2-1 lead. That's when Holloway delivered a diving kick save on Farmington's Trevor Ratliff. Holloway, a sophomore, dived to his left and kicked out his feet to deflect away the shot.
"I was going to the left and I saw while I was in the dive that he was probably going to go back the other way," Holloway said. "So I kicked my legs out and hoped it would hit and got lucky that time. He hit my shin guard. It's great when you know you come up with the save."
Ryan Dix and Jonathan Lynch converted their kicks for Notre Dame, which set the stage for Bulldogs senior Ke-Ke Kellum to win it on his team's fifth kick. He danced around before approaching the ball then pushed it to the left of the goal.
With the pressure back on Holloway, he didn't have to make a final save. Farmington's Cory Herzog rang a shot off the upper right post to give the Bulldogs (14-12) their fourth consecutive district title.
Playoff shootouts are nothing new to the Bulldogs. They lost in the Class 2 state semifinals on penalty kicks last season.
"I remember it and it's definitely something I'm not going to forget," Holloway said of last year's semifinal loss. "But I'm not feeling I have to do this to make up for last year."
Farmington opened the scoring with a goal off a free kick with 22 minutes left in the second half. But the Bulldogs didn't wait long to answer. Farmington couldn't clear a ball in its box and Lynch made the Knights pay for the mistake. He got off a low shot from about 10 yards out to even the score three minutes after Farmington took the lead.
"We could have got real down and kind of just settled for it being 1-0 and started scrambling," Lynch said. "Instead we kept our composure and ended up getting back up and pushing back up and getting one there a little later."
The Bulldogs advanced to face Bishop DuBourg in Thursday's 7 p.m. state quarterfinal at Farmington High School. DuBourg defeated St. Mary's 2-1 in the Class 2 District 2 final Thursday.