The in-bounds throws and free kicks into the penalty area were there for Pinnacle junior Missy Kettelkamp all game.
It just took until the first half of overtime in the No. 4 Pioneers' quarterfinals matchup against No. 12 Desert Vista for her teammates to score off them.
By the end of the game, Kettelkamp finished with a goal and two assists, each of which came off her team's game-clinching goals in extra time, as Pinnacle defeated the Thunder 3-1 on Saturday.
The Pioneers, however, could be without standout sophomore forward Jorian Baucom for Thursday night's Division I state semifinal against Hamilton at Campo Verde H.S. Moments after scoring in overtime, she was ejected from the match for a second yellow card, which means she automatically must sit out the next match.
The 40 minutes of regulation time consisted of a constant battle for possession between the two teams and ended in a tie at one goal apiece. It wasn't until Desert Vista's defense broke down in the 20 extra minutes that one team had a complete advantage.
In the eyes of Thunder coach Marvin Hypolite, his team was missing something all game.
"I couldn't really put my finger on it," Hypolite said. "I tried. I don't know if it was anxiety, but we got caught up easily on what was going on around us. That kind of hampered our decision-making."
In the first half, it was the Pioneers' missed opportunities on runs to the goal that kept the game scoreless until the 30th minute. Senior Cassie Beckwith was fouled in the box by a Thunder defender, which led to Kettelkamp's successful penalty kick in the top right half of the net and a Pinnacle lead.
Desert Vista answered three minutes later when junior Kelly Watson scored on a chipped kick over keeper Jennifer Stuart about five feet outside of the box.
The two teams traded pressure for most of the second half and both came close to scoring as the clock winded down.
In the 75th minute, Baucom had the ball near the goal off a chipped through ball, but a bad play on it cost her team the game-winning goal. The Thunder tried reenacting the same last-minute magic that gave them the win in the last round, but Watson had her shot blocked by Stuart with about 30 seconds remaining.
In overtime Baucom redeemed herself with a goal off a well-placed in-bounds toss from Kettelkamp in the first minute. Three minutes later she was ejected for the second yellow card.
Desert Vista was left with a one-player advantage for all of 26 seconds. After using her hands to forcefully gain control of possession all game, Watson was also ejected for her second yellow card and both sides were even again at 10 players.
Shortly after that, Kettelkamp delivered another solid midfield free kick, which bounced over an attempted Thunder header and was taken to the goal by sophomore Maddie Kmetko.
"I told them (we had) too many errors and we can't be giving up so many errors, especially in our own half," Hypolite said. "We can't be causing our team too many fouls. It was happening too prevalent in this game."
The loss marked the end of Hypolite's first season as Desert Vista's head coach, which he believed was a learning experience. The team's 19-4 season was a positive one, but appeared bittersweet to the coach in the face of defeat.
"I really honestly believed we could have carried it through," Hypolite said. "Sometimes it's actually reality, other than belief."
Chris Cole is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. He is a sophomore at Arizona State University.