CALUMET CITY | T.F. United forward Debo Akinsanya has played a little goalie before for the United, and one thing is certain, it never gets any easier when she's put in net.
Akinsanya was moved to keeper after the United played South Suburban Conference foe Eisenhower to a 4-4 tie after regulation and the overtime period.
Akinsanya blocked a shot in the shootout to help lift the United the win, 4-2 on penalty kicks.
"The pressure is still the same every time," Akinsanya said. "I guess PKs are my specialty. I try to just look at their eyes. Their eyes really do show where they're going."
Thornton Fractional (8-6, 5-4) was forced to battle from behind for much of the match. The United trailed Eisenhower 3-2 at the half before a Monica Munoz goal three minutes into the second half tied the match.
"I think we came lax and we weren't ready," United coach Alejandro Lagunas said. "They got on top of us right away. We really did get lucky today."
The match remained tied for much of the second half until the 34th minute when Akinsanya was able to drive home a deflected Jessica Savedra shot and give Thornton Fractional the 4-3 lead. But the lead would be brief. Eisenhower (7-9, 4-6) answered just two minutes later to tie the match.
"It was hard when that happened," Akinsanya said of the late Eisenhower goal. "We just had to pick our heads up and regroup."
After two scoreless overtime periods and the first three United shooters scored in the shootout, Munoz put a shot right on the Eisenhower keeper, but the goalie allowed the shot to bounce past her for the game winning goal.
"We've played Debo in goal before and she's one of our more athletic kids," Lagunas said. "She's an athlete, and she helped us out. It was just an ugly game. Both teams had chances to win in overtime. We just got extremely lucky, but I'll take luck over skill any day."