No matter what The Classical Academy girls’ soccer team did Tuesday at Manitou Springs High School the Titans could not find a way to beat Mustangs goalkeeper Kailah Buchanan.
Yet a sprinting Bonnie Buzzetta was taken down inside the box with 8:41 remaining and Joanie Jacks buried the penalty shot into the lower-left corner to deliver the Pikes Peak region 3A No. 1 Titans a gritty 1-0 victory over No. 2 Manitou in a 3A Region 2 game.
“Huge rivalry. Huge league win,” said TCA coach Blake Galvin. “This was a really important one for us. Quite frankly, to be able to come in here at this field and get this win was really good.”
Jacks scored her eighth goal of the year by firing a penalty kick past the outstretched arms of Buchanan to help the Titans (7-2-1, 2-0) remain undefeated in regional play and hand the Mustangs (6-3, 3-1) their first region loss.
“I got up there and I was freaking out at first,” Jacks said. “I had to make it for the team because we were putting in the work and going, going, going.”
It was a redemption goal for Jacks after the senior missed a header opportunity in the first half that would have given the Titans a 1-0 lead.
“I shot it (in the first half) and was like, “Ah, are you serious?” Jacks said. “This was the biggest game for us so far. It was nice to pull off the win.”
Galvin and Jacks credited Buzzetta for sprinting past a defender to earn the penalty kick.
“It all really started with Bonnie Buzzetta,” Galvin said. “Stepping in front of the ball and getting into the box. She was the one that really earned that. It was a fantastic run.”
Jacks did not want Buzzetta’s effort to go for naught.
“I have to give it to Bonnie because she was killing it on the outside and working so hard,” Jacks said.
TCA goalie Claire LaValley made four saves to earn her second shutout.
It was a tough way to lose for Buchanan (seven saves) and the Mustangs. She made a series of clutch saves to give Manitou a shot in a game that was controlled by the Titans. She just could not get to the ball in time on Jacks' penalty kick.
“I did what I could off of it. Those kicks are honestly so unfair,” Buchanan said. “She just put it into the corner. I was close, but wasn’t far enough.”
Galvin had nothing but praise for Buchanan after the goaltender made the Titans offense close to nonexistent.
“She did an absolutely fantastic job,” Galvin said. “She was playing out of her head. She kept them in this game without a doubt.”
Manitou Springs coach Mike Fox said Buchanan, who has posted four shutouts this season, did a great job in goal.
“Kailah was really solid and definitely matched their keeper,” said Fox, who was coaching against his former team for the first time. “She kept us in the game, but I thought the whole game was even all the way around, just kind of an unlucky foul in the box and PK. What can you say?”