St. Ursula senior Megan Gallagher scored once in the first half on a header and added another goal in the second on a fine individual effort to send the Arrows into the district finals.
St. Ursula avenged a regular season loss to Perrysburg and hung on for a 2-1 victory in a Division I district semifinal last night at Sylvania's Timberstone Junior High School. The Arrows (8-7-4) will meet Northview (11-5-3) in the finals on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Wildcats also got revenge on a loss, beating Anthony Wayne 2-1 in overtime in the second semifinal.
Perrysburg (15-4-0) started the season at 2-3 but entered with a 13-game win streak and dominated St. Ursula in a 3-1 win on Oct. 5. But the Arrows turned the tables, completely controlling the majority of the playoff tilt.
"I think the urgency of it being the end of the season settled in," SUA coach Chris Black said. "It wasn't panic. We've built our mental toughness."
Gallagher fooled both a defender and the goalie on the game-winner. From the left side of the net, she made a move around the defender and then bent the ball into the net with 29:01 left in the contest.
"It's wonderful to be in the finals," Gallagher said. "It was really good to beat Perrysburg because we lost to them. We were a little more prepared. We knew this was the tournament, and we didn't want to be done yet."
Perrysburg scored on Samantha O'Connor's awesome cross pass to Alyssa Goins who tapped it in with 9:27 left. The Yellow Jackets missed sending it to OT by inches in the waning moments when Arrow goalie Nicole Fernandez stopped a shot on the goal line.
"The difference tonight was that they controlled the play," Perrysburg coach Mike Murphy said. "They hustled to the ball and used their speed well. St. Ursula is a force to be reckoned with. Whoever comes out of this district will represent the area well."
Perrysburg came out a bit flat and the Arrows led 5-1 on corner kicks in the first half. St. Ursula capitalized on a fine set piece on a corner. Senior Claire Ballay sent a perfect pass to Gallagher who headed it in for a 1-0 lead at the 26:37 mark.
The Yellow Jackets had four shots, but only one was on net in the first half. St. Ursula had far better quality chances including two on goal. Perrysburg came out with much more jump to start the second half and had two quick quality chances. But the Arrows quickly reasserted their dominance.
The Yellow Jackets then took over the flow with a few chances late in the second. But Perrysburg didn't get its first corner kick until
12:33 remained. Perrysburg pressed desperately at the end and with 1:30 left Fernandez made the pivotal stop.
"The girls felt that it was in," Murphy said. "I didn't have a good look at it. There is only one person's opinion that counts and I certainly respect that."
"We have a great keeper," Black said. "If she's close to it, she'll get it."
In the second semi, Kate Schmidt notched the game winner 6:01 into overtime. Schmidt was just inside the box, turned around with the ball, and booted it for a dramatic 2-1 win.
"Nothing could be better," Schmidt said. "The girls worked so hard. I just happened to get the goal."
Northview's Haley Gasser tapped in a goal just 27 seconds into the game on a fine assist from Natalie Roemer who got the ball on a nice cross from Schmidt.
The rest of the half was evenly played with the teams getting one shot apiece on net.
Anna Coffman evened things for the Generals at the 27:59 mark of the second half. Kate Allen sent a perfect through ball to Coffman who got behind the Wildcat defense.
Both teams had excellent chances in the early part of the second as AW keeper Emily Wolfe and Northview goalie Jessica Jessing made top-notch saves. Jessing had a crucial save on a corner kick early as AW had three good chances over the first five minutes of OT.
Wolfe came up with a leaping save with 21:21 left in regulation to keep it tied as each teams' defenders also played solid.
The young Wildcat team had its streak of 10 straight Northern Lakes League title snapped by Anthony Wayne (14-4-1) in a 3-0 Generals' win on Sept. 23.
"I'm so proud of the heart this team showed against a very good Anthony Wayne team that dominated us the first time," Northview coach Rick Burgin said. "We're a young team that has gotten better and better."
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