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CLYDE, Ohio -- Archbold's dream of winning its first girls soccer state championship came to an end as it fell to Shaker Heights Laurel 1-0 in a Division III state semifinal Wednesday as both teams battled on a very windy night.
"We knew we were going to have a good team this year, and we believed in ourselves," senior defender Carley Wyse said. "I don't think a lot of people did. But in the back of our heads we knew. To get here was a big accomplishment for us."
PHOTO GALLERY: Archbold vs. Laurel
Archbold (19-2-1) loses four seniors -- goalkeeper Nichole Wood, midfielder Mindy Rupp, and defenders Wyse and Sierra Nofziger.
"Our seniors were outstanding," Archbold assistant coach Jennifer Kidder said. "Their leadership was tremendous this year. All four of them played a role in every single aspect of this amazing season. We couldn't have done it without them. They represented their school really well."
Archbold struggled to get many chances in the first half, when they had to go into a strong wind.
The Blue Streaks' best opportunity in the first half came with 6:30 left, when sophomore midfielder Carley Wyse sent a free kick towards goal. The Laurel goalkeeper came out from the net to make the save before any Archbold players could redirect the ball towards the goal.
The first solid shot on goal came with 23 minutes left in the first half. Laurel's Nicole Felice took a shot from the top of the penalty box, but Wood was there to make a save.
Laurel went on the scoreboard first with the only goal of the game when senior midfielder Abby Napoli blasted home a goal from 20 yards out into the upper left corner of the net.
The Blue Streaks were able to play more aggressively in the second half, when they had the wind at their back.
With 27 minutes left in the game, Nofziger ripped a shot from 35 yards out but the Laurel goalkeeper reached up to make a save.
With 17:10 left in the game, the Laurel goalie made a save and the rebound bounced out to junior midfielder Lauren Kindinger, who shot the ball just wide with the goalie out of position.
Archbold notched its last real chance of the game when Rupp took a shot off a rebound that sailed wide right.
Despite the loss, the journey to the semifinals has been memorable for Archbold.
"This year's been great," Kidder said. "19-2-1, it's our best record ever. Winning our league was huge and then we were sectional champs and district champs and regional champs. Just being able to work with these girls has been a privilege for us. We appreciate that they've given us their all every time we ask."
The players were disappointed afterwards.
"I wasn't even sad about the loss really," Wyse said. "I'm just sad that I don't get to be with my team because we were a family."