NEW LENOX | It wasn't the way the Vikings wanted the game to end, but this game's end had to be reached at some point.
After the teams completed overtime in the Class 2A Providence Regional semifinals knotted at 2, it took 12 rounds of penalty kicks for the hosts to down Illiana Christian.
After a 1-1 match went to OT, Illiana Christian was able to answer a Providence goal in the second overtime period to send the game to penalty kicks. Lito Wagenveld scored both goals for the Vikings on the night.
"It was a solid game between the two teams," Waganveld said. "I thought it was fairly even. We're missing a couple of players who are gone on class trips, so that was a little unfortunate."
Wagenveld broke a 0-0 draw 4:17 into the second half to give the Vikings the initial advantage. Providence answered 14 minutes later to send the game into extra time.
"It was a hard-fought game," Waganveld said. "We played well, and it was fair with good reffing. It's hard to decide a game that way, but we game our all. In the end, we were just a little unlucky"
In the second overtime half, Providence's John Barrett found a loose ball in front of the Illiana Christian goal and drove it home for the brief 2-1 Celtics lead. Wagenveld answered with a free kick goal just 17 seconds later to tie the game at 2.
"We played this team earlier in the season and we dominated the bulk of the game," Vikings coach Tim Delahunty said of Providence. "This team that came out today, they turned things around and credit to them."
In the shootout, the Vikings and Celtics matched goal for goal, until Patrick Kowalkowski scored for Providence and Celtics keeper Matteo Frangella was able to stop Zach Pruim's shot to end the game and send Providence to Saturday's regional final.
"PKs are not the way to really finish a game," Delahunty said. "But we would have been here till midnight tonight. Hats off to them, it was a good game. I'm looking forward to next season. It was a little letdown at the end here, but that's how it goes."