Goalkeeper Danielle Thompson found herself in, arguably, soccer's most stressful position at the end of Friday's match at Omaha Skutt.
The three-round shootout was to decide an all-star match, no less, but the now-former Blair Bear said she was fine with the scenario.
“As long as I know that I'm focused and not freaking out,” Thompson said.
A Now! Program teammate would hit the bar and miss, and the winning shot just got by the BHS standout, as Five Points Bank won the Nebraska High School Soccer Senior Showcase shootout 3-1.
“It hit the tip of my fingers and went right in,” Thompson said.
The match benefitted Nebraska Special Olympics, but also served as an opportunity for four Bears to play together again. Defender Sophia Grantham, midfielder Eva Dunker, forward Halle Clary and Thompson didn't have a senior season due to COVID-19, but they did get their chance to wear the Blair jersey one last time.
The Bears also got a chance to face many of their Class B rivals.
“I know this is for fun, but it's still nice to go against her one last time,” Grantham said of squaring off against Bennington all-stater Miley Prine.
“I thought it was really fun to play with them and against them one last time for high school until we all go to college and do our separate things,” Clary, a College of Saint Mary recruit, added.
The four BHS players all started for the Now! Program team. Dunker was a key contributor early, possessing and distributing the ball, and setting the pace of play.
“I really like controlling the middle and being an option for everyone,” said the future Hastings College player. “For me, scoring a goal isn't everything. Making a pass for someone to have the opportunity to score is my biggest thing.”
Clary, meanwhile, was on the receiving end of a few passes early, getting her chances to make runs toward the Five Points goal.
At the same time, Thompson watched from between the pipes. She was first really challenged as time ran down in the first half. An opposing player made a run toward the goal, but the Bear was able to run out from the net and dive on the ball before a shot.
Grantham squared off against the Five Points Bank forwards in the first half — displaying her trademark physical play — before contributing more on the offensive end during the second. She'll play her college soccer at the University of Missouri-Kansas City after a standout BHS career from freshman year on.
The end result was a 3-1 shootout defeat, but Grantham said she enjoyed playing with girls she's seen on high school and club fields for years. She agreed the Senior Showcase was a fine preview for what's next with many of the game's competitors moving onto the college game.