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Saved PK aids Cougars' win in title game


The momentum swung in Bloomingdale's favor Friday, but only for a few seconds.

A hand ball in the box by Durant in the 27th minute sent the Bulls' Daniela Davila to the line for a penalty kick.

Davila already had scored in the seventh minute and now was poised to give Bloomingdale a 2-1 lead.

Instead, Davila appeared to slip as the kick went straight at keeper Megan Bowers. Bowers blocked it with her legs and pounced on the ball. Bloomingdale did not get a better chance to take the lead, and K.K. Kelly's goal early in the second half gave Durant a 2-1 victory and the Class 6A, District 6 title.

"I thought she was going to nail it in the net," Bowers said. "When she hit it right to me, I was like, "Oh God, thank you.' "

Perfect positioning had Davila waiting on the back post, and she headed in a corner kick for a 1-0 lead. But it was the penalty kick she couldn't shake after the Cougars beat the Bulls for the third time this season.

"Usually, I go to the right, and that's what I was aiming for," Davila said. "But it went right into her hands."

The Bulls' early momentum from Davila's goal also was short-lived. Less than two minutes later, sophomore Gabi Rivera sprinted through the defense, hurdled a fallen Bull and ripped a shot from 25 yards to tie it.

Kelly scored the winner when she took Alicia Tirelli's header from 40 yards inside the box and headed it into the net.

Durant, a 3A semifinalist last season, hosts St. Cloud in a first-round region game Thursday. St. Cloud lost 5-0 to Orlando Timber Creek in the District 5 final Friday. Bloomingdale plays at Timber Creek on Thursday.