So with just over a minute-and-a-half gone in the first overtime of a scoreless contest, the Bulldogs used a redirection to finally crack the code of Spaulding keeper Megan LeCours.
Junior Daisy Sullivan started the play when she put a corner kick into the box. Her pass made it to the head of junior Maggie Oliver. Oliver then flicked her head back, sending the ball onto the feet of another junior, Jordan Harmon, who was able to put her shot past LeCours and give the Bulldogs a 1-0 win.
"We went into overtime with a lot of confidence," Harmon said. "This is our third overtime game. We were all really determined to get it into the goal. I saw the ball go off Maggie's head, and I just went for it."
Coach Dan DeForest credited the play to his team making an adjustment after the first half.
"In the first half, we talked about how the corner kicks were in a little too close to the goalie, who was the best we played all year," DeForest said. "We needed to get it higher. For Maggie to have the sense to just do that flick on, it had to be touched. If it didn't get touched and redirected, then they are all making a play...on the ball."
The contest was a tense one from the start. Sullivan put two early crosses in to
After the opening chances, the game started to calm down, with both teams battling in the midfield to try and gain an advantage.
"It was a pretty good game between two pretty good teams that went back and forth," Spaulding coach Peter Sakash said. "They had a little advantage in shots, but I thought the shots we had were of pretty good quality."
Midway through the half, both teams just missed out on good scoring chances.
BBA's chance game first. Sophomore Aggie Bisselle started the play when she found junior Sarah Alpert. Alpert then tried playing a ball to Harmon charging towards goal, but the Crimson Tide defense cleared the ball away and started a counter attack the other way.
The counter ended at the feet of Erin Paterson, who got off a shot but sent it over the crossbar.
"In the run of play, both teams had a few chances and couldn't convert," DeForest said. "That's playoff soccer."
Towards the end of the half, Sullivan almost found senior Lauren Keyes in the box, but as Keyes crashed into LeCours, the Tide defense was able to clear.
To start the second, the teams again traded a pair of goal-scoring chances.
Sullivan saw a shot saved after she forced a turnover deep in the Crimson Tide defensive end, then at the other end of the field Julia Ormsby saw her volley saved by Joanna Jorgensen.
"That is the quality of player that [Sullivan] is," DeForest said of his winger. "She has the ability to make so many things happen for us. She is a danger in every part of her game."
Bisselle and Sullivan nearly connected on another sequence later in the half, as Bisselle slid a ball across the ground to Sullivan in the box. Sullivan was able to get a shot off, but it went wide across the face of goal and out of play.
Spaulding's best chance of the half would come through Tori Biondolillo.
After a counter attack ended with the ball at Biondolillo's feet in the middle of the box, Biondolillo let got of a shot, but it went wide and out of play.
In the overtime, it would take the Bulldogs just one offensive sequence to find the winner.
Senior Emma Hallett had her shot in open play blocked out for a corner, which Sullivan converted into the winning play.
"I thought we gave them all they could handle, and we lost on a set play," Sakash said. "You kind of had the feeling that that was where this game might go."
The Bulldogs now move onto the quarterfinals, and will travel to four-seed U-32 on Saturday for a 4 p.m. game. The Bulldogs improve to 10-5-0, while Spaulding finishes the year 5-10-0.