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They were exhausted before overtime even started.
Even for the Newton North girls’ soccer team, which finished the season ranked fourth in the country, 80 minutes of a physical, pressure-packed game against Minnechaug Regional in the Division 1 state final was a lot to handle.
Many of the starters were never substituted.
And then they played 30 more grueling minutes until the 0-0 deadlock went to penalty kicks.
In sudden death, coach James Hamblin turned to junior Katie Nugent, who had not scored a goal all season.
Bottom left corner, the right-footed Nugent told herself. And then she sunk it. Before she could turn around, Shannon Fitzgerald had tackled her. Newton North, which had won four state titles from 1989-’99 and hadn’t won one since, was back on top.