LITHIA — One year ago at River Ridge, Newsome's season was almost in serious jeopardy.
Trailing 1-0 in the waning minutes of last season's 5A region quarterfinals, River Ridge got deep into the Wolves' defensive third and sent a ball through the box. Newsome defender Kayli Kishel stepped up to clear it and was knocked to the ground by a River Ridge player who tapped in what looked to be the equalizer.
Looked to be.
"The center ref called a goal," Newsome coach Kelly Townsend said. "But the side judge came over to him and told him there was a foul on the play before the goal."
The whistle was lost amid River Ridge's celebration, leaving Royal Knights players thinking they had just pulled out an improbable goal as time expired.
"Honestly, I don't remember much about the play," Kishel said. "I just remember seeing them celebrate at midfield."
But the celebration was cut short by the call, one that left Royal Knights coaches, players and fans feeling hoodwinked.
River Ridge (18-2) will get another shot at the Wolves (22-3-1) at 7 tonight in the region semifinals at Newsome.
"They'll be coming for revenge," Kishel said.
Townsend's primary job leading up tonight's match has been keeping the team focused.
"They were happy when they saw Bloomingdale lost, but I keep reminding them this team we're about to play beat Bloomingdale," Townsend said. "And I'm sure they want some redemption after last year."