For much of Friday’s Missouri Christian Schools Athletic Association Division I state semifinal game, it wasn’t a matter of whether Crosspoint Christian School would be defending its state title.

It was a matter of whether Crosspoint would make the title contest.

When the final whistle sounded, the Lady Cougars (16-1) won, 2-1, but it had required overtime and penalty kicks.

Christian Fellowship took the early lead after a shot deflected off of a Crosspoint defender and into the goal.

“We saw Sara Blackburn moving to her right and quickly look back left trying to change direction but couldn’t,” Crosspoint Head Coach Leslie Blackburn said. “We were in a position we haven’t been in all season and I think we anticipated our match more than we should as we beat them 3-0 just a few weeks prior.”

Crosspoint came back to tie it on a penalty kick by Emmi Windes after Christian Fellowship was whistled for a hand ball in the box.

Despite being tied at the break, Blackburn said there were several positives.

“We saw three nice corners from Taylor Nevez that we left untouched,” Blackburn said. “We had eight shot attempts with two on target. That makes it hard to score. Christian Fellowship shot three times and Sara Blackburn had two saves this half.”

The second half was scoreless. Blackburn made four saves on six shots taken by Christian Fellowship (two were wide of the net). Crosspoint had four shots with two on net.

“Christian Fellowship was not the same team we played several weeks ago, but neither were we, missing a starting defender and having to move a midfielder back which changes things up from our optimum lineup,” Blackburn said.  

In the first overtime, Windes and Lydia Young both missed shots.

Going to penalty kicks, Windes put Crosspoint on top. After a Blackburn save, Young scored before Christian Fellowship scored.

Sara Blackburn then shot to the right and scored. Christian Fellowship shot over the crossbar. Paige Sullentrup put her shot into the net to seal the victory.

“We are confident in our first five shooters and our keeper, but did not want to go 90 minutes today and play a championship game tomorrow,” Leslie Blackburn said. “Later, we found out the Maryville and Whitefield game ended at the half due to lightning.  So now we were on 90 minutes of legs to their 40 minutes, giving them an upper hand.”  

Crosspoint advanced to play Maryville (Ill.) Christian Saturday for the title.

“Maryville had also beaten Christian Fellowship, 3-0, the day before, so we knew there was going to be a good game, probably a one-point match,” Blackburn said.