Avery Horner had plenty of chances late in Friday's game to lead Bettendorf to a win over Pleasant Valley.
It was only a matter of time until the Bettendorf freshman finally broke through.
With 41 seconds left in overtime Horner took a pass from Jordan McWilliams, made a move to her side and fired a strike from 20 yards out. The ball sailed just past Pleasant Valley keeper Ashlee Kwak to give the Class 3A No. 7 Bulldogs a 2-1 overtime win in the 90th minute over the No. 9 Spartans.
"I'm just so happy we were able to beat PV and beat them as a team," said Horner, who scored both Bettendorf goals in the match. "We were just ready to win after our (3-1 loss Tuesday against Assumption). We kept having those chances and finally we put one in."
Bettendorf (3-2, 2-1) snapped a two-game losing streak with the win and showed plenty of resiliency, overcoming the loss of senior Elizabeth Park, who picked up two yellow cards in the second half, drawing an automatic red card. It left Bettendorf with just 10 players from the 74th minute on but the Bulldogs seemed to find a heightened intensity, generating numerous runs and offensive opportunities.
"We were already working hard, but the nine field players that were out there I thought worked harder," Bettendorf head coach Todd Hornaday said. "My midfield did a nice job of maintaining possession and breaking up any attacks. Great effort, and it's been a tough week. It would have been rough losing another one."
The only thing that kept Bettendorf from ending the match sooner in those final minutes was the play of Kwak, who made eight saves in the game, some in key moments, including a point blank save in the 62nd minute on a shot from inside the box.
Kwak spent the last three years as the backup keeper but showed PV (3-2, 1-1) will continue to have a strong presence in net this year.
"Every time she takes a shot on goal, whether it's a high ball, a breakaway opportunity or just a hard shot, it's experience for her that she hasn't been able to get before," PV head coach Ed Knupp said. "She's been able to learn and be placed under fire and come up with big saves, and I couldn't be more proud of her."
Horner put Bettendorf on the board just four minutes into the match, outrunning the PV defense to chase down a through ball from Mia Griffin and score a breakaway goal. With the wind in its favor, Bettendorf controlled play in the first half but couldn't add to its lead.
PV upped the pressure in the second half and broke through in the 64th minute when Jenna Aller headed a corner kick from Maya Hartz into the net to tie the match.
The Spartans are young, starting three freshmen and utilizing 17 players, and the effort to tie the game is something the team can build on.
"We learned a lot about who we were, and that's what we're trying to figure out, where we are, what we need to improve on, what our strengths are," Knupp said. "Their effort all night was good, their energy in the second half was outstanding. ... We're excited to be able to play at this level against a team like Bettendorf."
Once Park earned her second yellow card, PV had a few chances to take the lead but struggled containing the aggressive Bettendorf runs as the match headed to overtime.
"We know that their are going to be challenges in a game, whether it's a red card or an injured player, but we just have to keep our heads up and adapt to the game," senior centerback Alli Whitaker said. "For our defense to do their job, for our midfield to do their job, for our forwards to do their job, I feel our team can make it far."