INDIANAPOLIS -- Dave Musso dubbed it the chicken wing crossbar contest.
It turned out to be good practice.
Tuesday, as the Quincy University women's soccer team prepped for the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament semifinals, Musso had his players line up at the top of the penalty area and take turns trying to hit the crossbar with a shot. Each player got one shot, and if collectively they hit the crossbar five times, they were to be treated to Buffalo Wild Wings.
Thanks to some on-the-dot accuracy, the Hawks ate well that night.
"I was one of those who hit it," senior defender Bailey Greubel said. "I actually hit it two times in a row."
She can call it three in a row if she wants.
The last of the Hawks to attempt a penalty kick in Friday's shootout against fourth-seeded Bellarmine in the GLVC semifinals at Carroll?Stadium, Greubel nicked the underside of the crossbar with her shot and watched it dive straight into the net to cap off a 5-3 shootout victory and send top-seeded Quincy into the championship game.
The Hawks (16-2-1) will face second-seeded McKendree (14-2-3) at 11 a.m. Sunday.
"I am pretty accurate," Greubel said. "I'm not the strongest, most powerful shooter in the world, but when it comes to accuracy, I like to think I have that."
When it mattered most, all the Hawks hit their spots.
Quincy and Bellarmine played to a scoreless tie through 90 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods despite the Hawks owning a 19-6 advantage in shots and a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks. Neither Quincy's advantage nor Bellarmine's stinginess was unexpected.
The Hawks led the GLVC in shots and goals, while the Knights had allowed just six goals all season.
"We were trying tof figure out how to create good scoring chances," said Musso, the 12th year coach who has the Hawks in the GLVC title game for the fifth time. "They were putting so many players in the middle, so it was hard to get the ball in the middle and work from there. But we didn't get down on ourselves for not finishing more."
Instead, the Hawks let their defense pitch another shutout -- the 13th of the season -- and were confident they could win it in a shootout.
"We practiced our PKs on Wednesday, and when I watched everyone's PK, I was like, ‘We got this,'" senior goalkeeper Megan Swanson said. "If it went to PKs, there was no way we were not going to win. That's how confident I was."
She nearly gave the Hawks the advantage on the first two shooters.
Bellarmine's Olivia Taylor and Erica Joldrichsen both beat Swanson to her right even though she guessed correctly both times and got a hand on Joldrichsen's shot.
"I was like, ‘Dang it, Megan,'" Swanson said. "But then that third shooter missed and our girls took care of the rest."
Quincy's first three shooters -- Mackenzie Rief, Cassidy Foley and Maddy Kuhlenberg -- each buried their shot for a 3-2 lead before Bellarmine's Kenzi Gooley pushed her PK wide of the left post. All the Hawks had to do was make the last two shots to advance.
Senior midfielder Katie Heiligenstein made her attempt, leaving Greubel to finish it.
"I knew. I just knew," Musso said. "That's why I put her in there. I knew she was going to find the focus and help us win the game."
Focus is all Greubel did.
"You have to put the trust in the practice that you've had," she said.
Greubel knew were she wanted to go with the shot, regardless of what Bellarmine goalkeeper Taylor Smith did.
"She was standing and already kind of cheating exactly where I placed it," Greubel said. "It kind of got in my head a little bit, but I had to be confident in my approach and just raise the shot a little bit. Thank god I kept it under that crossbar."
Quincy 0, Bellarmine 0
Quincy wins PK shootout 5-3
6 Shots 19
8 Saves 3
1 Corners 6
4 Fouls 11
0 Offsides 1
Bellarmine 0 0 0 0--0
Quincy 0 0 0 0--0