East Lake denied finals berth in OT

East Lake rallies in the final minutes to tie, then a short lapse in overtime proves costly.

By BRYAN BURNS, Times Staff Writer
Published February 9, 2008

FORT LAUDERDALE - Just as quickly as East Lake had inexplicably found its way back into its Class 5A semifinal with George Jenkins by scoring twice in the final six minutes of regulation, Jenkins' senior forward Kayla Grimsley snatched away East Lake's comeback hopes.

Grimsley, a South Carolina commit, made a spectacular individual play in the last minute of overtime, receiving the ball on the left edge of the box and cutting back four times around a trio of East Lake defenders to dribble the ball within 5 yards of goal. Left alone with keeper Ali Burnham, Grimsley slid a low shot toward the far post, out of reach of a diving Burnham to give George Jenkins a 4-3 overtime win.

"Everyone was looking like, 'she'll get it, she'll get it, she'll get it,' " said East Lake's Alicia Nalley, referring to the number of East Lake defenders surrounding Grimsley. "Everybody put it on someone else's shoulders."

Grimsley's highlight-reel goal erased a remarkable comeback for East Lake (17-6), which appeared all but finished when Grimsley scored her second of three goals in the 64th minute and East Lake was mounting little second-half offensive pressure. With six minutes remaining, however, Leah Fisher was fouled in the box, and Nalley converted the penalty kick to bring East Lake within a goal.

With 20 seconds left, Nalley, at midfield, sent a pass to Tatiana Perez streaking down the right side. Perez, who scored East Lake's first goal in the 31st minute, got behind the defense and beat goalie Karlin Aloisio to the ball in the box by a step. Aloisio's momentum carried her into Perez, and East Lake was awarded a second penalty kick.

"I just saw the clock and thought we need to score now, this could be the last play of the game," Nalley said.

Nalley converted the PK to tie it at 3 with 11 seconds left, but a first state title appearance wasn't meant to be.

"You've got to want it the entire time," Nalley said. "We let down for 30 seconds, and they took advantage of those 30 seconds and got the goal."

George Jenkins 4 East Lake 3