If the Northview Wildcats didn't pack it in when they lost arguably their three best forwards to injury, they sure weren't going to let up just because a flurry of scoring opportunities had gone for naught, including two shots off the post.
The Wildcats simply kept up the attack as they and the girls from St. Ursula began to show some fatigue going into a second overtime of their Division I district soccer final yesterday at Anthony Wayne. Northview's Julia Dempster finally scored for a 2-1 victory 1 minute and 40 seconds before a shootout would have decided things.
Northview (14-3-2) advances to a regional semifinal at Findlay at 7 p.m. Wednesday against North Olmsted, a 1-0 winner over Westlake in their district final.
“We knew we could do it. Finally, we just put it away like we thought we could,'' Dempster said.
She scored when St. Ursula goalkeeper Brittney Hansen lunged for a pass in the middle of the box and couldn't grab enough of it to stop Dempster from kicking it into the net.
“This is the biggest win, I'd say, since I've been coach,'' said Northview's Tim Zundel, who guided the Wildcats to their third straight regional berth.
“We've been hurting, but we still proved we could get the job done.''
Knee injuries to Lindsey Meridieth and Jessica Okoroafo, the leading scorer on the way to a second straight regional final last season, didn't stop the Wildcats from rushing the Arrows' end throughout. The Cats had 10 shots to SU's four.
Dempster and Molly Sullivan got loose on breaks in the first overtime and late in the second, but Sullivan, just returned from an ankle injury, hit the right post both times.
“It was very frustrating for me - to hit the post like five times,'' Sullivan said.
But she also headed in the game-tying goal in the 19th minute of the second half - off a corner kick from junior defenseman Christina Braknis.
“It was a perfect ball,'' Sullivan said of Braknis' pass. “I knew it was in. I just closed my eyes and hit it.
“We've played our whole lives together, and she has the best corner kicks on the team,'' Sullivan added. “We connect, definitely.''
Emily Werner put the Arrows (13-7) ahead 1-0 in the seventh minute in a battle in the box with Northview defensemen after keeper Courtney Allan fell.
“They really put the pressure on us the last four minutes,'' said St. Ursula coach Bruce Peterson. “I think they had just a little more energy toward the end.
“All in all we had a great season. We would have liked to have extended it, but, at least for today, the better team won.''