FINDLAY The Swanton Bulldogs took one more step towards their goal of reaching the state tournament in a dream season.
Swanton (13-4-2) won a hard-fought 3-2 game over Bellville Clear Fork (11-9-0) in a shootout last night in the Division II regional semifinals.
The Bulldogs will return to action at Findlay High School Saturday at 2 p.m. to play Doyletown Chippewa (19-0-1) in the regional finals.
In a game that looked like Clear Fork was dominating, a pair of second-half goals lifted Swanton to a masterful comeback.
It took just one shot to turn around the whole complexion of the game.
The Bulldogs Courtney Van Dellen blasted a high-arching shot from 25 yards out perfectly in the back right corner of the net off of a penalty kick, knotting the score at two with 3:37 left in the game.
Courtney is a sophomore and she has a very nice accuracy around the goal, said Swanton coach Jim Carpenter. It was an excellent shot. If it wasn t for her, we wouldn t have been in the position we were in.
Swanton trailed 1-0 at the end of the first half.
Swanton goalkeeper Stephanie Kerr had a busy day with five saves in the first half and 13 in the game.
The Bulldogs managed just two shots on goal in the first 40 minutes.
After Clear Fork put Swanton in a 2-0 holeTiffany Willson gave the Bulldog faithful something to cheer about as she took the ball from midfield all the way to the goal and knocked it past Clear Fork goalkeeper Jordan Birch with 14:15 left in the contest.
In the shootout, Clear Fork had the first shot attempt. Sadie Fellure ripped it in the back of the net for a goal, but Willson responded with a goal for Swanton.
Anna Bowman missed the Colt s second shot and Laura Mierzwinski nailed a goal for the Bulldogs.
Bethany Bowman connected on a goal for Clear Fork, while Van Dellan missed her attempt for Swanton.
Next up was Bethany Whatman for Clear Fork, who missed her shot attempt and Kristen Smith stepped up and drilled a pressure-packed goal for the Bulldogs.
The game was on the line for Colts Katie Chamberlain, who missed the goal wide right, sending Swanton to the next round.
I ve been around a lot of games as a player, referee, a coach, and also a parent and this is the most exciting I have ever seen, said Carpenter.
We played awesome, said Kerr. This is like the best we have ever played.
Contact Adam Thompson at:email@example.com or 419-724-6110.