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Esko playoff hopes dashed in shootout

The season ended for Esko’s girls soccer team in the first round of the Section 7A tournament in a penalty shootout against Grand Rapids.

The seventh-seeded Eskomos rallied from a 2-0 first-half deficit in the game against the 10th-seeded Thunderhawks. After Lindsey Franzone and Emily Saumer staked the visitors to a 2-0 lead within the first 21 minutes, Esko got on the board two minutes from halftime as Karlie Kulas cut the deficit to 2-1.

The game remained 2-1 until, with one minute to play in regular time, Jackie Erkkila scored to force an overtime session.

The teams remained scoreless through two overtime sessions so the match went to penalty kicks to decide the winner.

Each team scored on three of  five attempts in the first round of penalty kicks, setting up a sudden-death session, where Lucia Wyland won the match for Grand Rapids. The win was the Thunderhawks first post-season triumph since 2006.

Esko, which beat the Thunderhawks 1-0 during the regular season, finished its year with a record of 8-7-1.