Perrysburg captured a third straight Northern Lakes League title by knocking off Maumee 3-0, but the Panthers put up a strong stand on their home field.
Perrysburg (15-0-0, 7-0-0 NLL) has been ranked No. 1 in the Division I state poll from the start of the season. The Yellow Jackets have now outscored their opponents 74-4 overall and 40-2 in league play. They also have received recognition in national polls.
Maumee (11-2-3, 4-1-2), which entered the game ranked No. 5 in the Division II poll, kept it close for 60 minutes. But Perrysburg's prolific goal scorer, forward Maddy Williams, then tallied two goals just 41 seconds apart around the 20-minute mark of the second half to break it open.
Williams added to her school-record goal total with her 36th and 37th goals of the season. Williams, who has scored in every game, said she knew she had to step up with Perrysburg clinging to the one-goal lead.
“We knew this would be a tough game, and Maumee played hard,” Williams said. “It was shaky at first. But we kept our intensity up. It's nice to accomplish this goal, but we've just started.”
Perrysburg junior Lucy Walton got the Yellow Jackets going with a goal near the midpoint of the first half.
“I'm very happy for the girls because they accomplished one of our goals,” Perrysburg co-coach Jorge Diaz said. “The second goal is to go undefeated. We are happy the way we are playing going into the tournament. It was an exciting game. Maumee played very good defensive soccer.”
Walton's shot from near the left sideline traveled about 25 yards. The ball sailed over the head of Maumee goalie Jacq Korsog and into the corner of the goal. Korsog, who was solid throughout, then made a good save on Courtney Clody to keep it a one-goal game near the 20-minute mark of the first half.
“That is one heck of a team, and for 60 minutes we gave ourselves a chance,” Maumee coach Steve Kikolski said. “We're disappointed in the results, but we played well, and we need to carry that into the postseason.”
Williams scored her first goal on a penalty kick from point-blank range. Williams was awarded the free kick after it appeared she had slipped, but the official called the Maumee defender for a penalty. Kikolski said the penalty kick was “a decent call.”
“It could have gone either way,” he said. “It was the turning point in the game.”
Williams added another just 41 seconds later when she broke free and rolled the ball in to make it 3-0 with 19:30 left. Perrysburg goalie Chloe Buehler made a great save on Maumee's Brynn Sautter to maintain the shutout with 15:52 remaining. Perrysburg opens postseason play Oct. 18 against Waite. Maumee plays Rossford on Monday.
“This is a tribute to all the work they've put in,” co-head coach Margaret Bernard said. “Each game we've been playing better, and ultimately that has us moving towards our goal of going all the way.”