Halle Miller’s kick of a lifetime
The Roosevelt High School girls’ soccer team had a fairy-tale ending to its season recently.
It all started before the regular season was over in a match against Yankton.
Roosevelt senior Halle Miller suffered an injury.
“It hurt so bad and right when my trainer came over, I was like ‘Am I going to be out? Am I going to be out?’ And he said ‘yeah, it doesn’t look good.’”
Miller had broken her collarbone, which meant her high school soccer career was probably over.
The Rough Riders entered the playoffs as the No. 10 seeded team with a 4-5-2 record, but then, they started winning. They took down Pierre in the first round of the playoffs, beat Brandon Valley in the quarterfinals, and then Sioux Falls Lincoln in the semifinals – all one-goal victories.
Right before the championship match against Rapid City Stevens, Miller wrote a letter to her surgeon and was granted clearance to play on a limited basis. The athletic trainer with her team was more hesitant to clear her for anything beyond penalty kicks – known as “PKs.”
“So I was devastated because I’m like ‘this is not going to go into PK’s.’ The chances of it going into PK’s and me being able to kick it are very slim.”
But late in the state championship game, the Rough Riders tied it up.
“The first thought that actually went on in my brain was that, ‘oh my gosh, this is going to overtime, and then it’s going to go into PKs, and what if I have to take one?’”
The match was still tied at the end of regulation. And it stayed tied through a pair of 2-minute overtime periods. Penalty kicks were next.
Each team selected five players to attempt a kick and still Miller remained in the background supporting her team. Both Stevens and Roosevelt made three of their five penalty kick attempts, meaning it would now go round by round to decide a winner.
Rough Riders head coach Cori Bonte looked Miller’s way.
“I put the ball down, I took a deep breath, and knocked it in there. It went past the goal post, and I already knew it was in, and I turned around and sprinted to my team and I started crying my eyes out, because I was just so happy.”
This is the first sanctioned state girls’ soccer championship for the Rough Riders program.