BOWLING GREEN — On a soggy and bitter-cold Halloween evening — when countless youngsters donned myriad costumes for trick-or-treat treks through neighborhoods elsewhere — Perrysburg senior Maddy Williams arrived at Cochrane Stadium disguised as a blonde version of Mia Hamm.
Or, so it seemed to the Anthony Wayne Generals, who watched as Williams surged and cut and wove her way through seemingly helpless defenders to lead her Yellow Jackets to a 3-0 victory Wednesday night in a Division I girls regional soccer semifinal.
Williams scored her 45th goal of the season, assisted on the Jackets’ other two goals, and came inches from adding three or four more tallies as top-ranked Perrysburg moved to 20-0-0 on the season while outscoring its opposition 103-5.
“We just had to come out really hard and had to stay focused,” Williams said. “It means a lot. It wasn’t just 1-0 with a fluke goal. We came out hard and scored three.
“I don’t think we’ve played our best soccer yet, and we haven’t lost yet. So, that’s a good sign. I’m really proud of this team.”
Anthony Wayne, which kept the explosive Yellow Jackets off the scoreboard for much of the first half, finished its season at 12-3-4.
Perrysburg advances to meet the winner of today’s regional semifinal between Westlake and ninth-ranked Medina. The regional final will be played at 3 p.m. on Saturday at a site to be determined.
The opening 23 minutes of this match were like a dam on the brink of bursting, as Perrysburg controlled possession in the Generals’ zone almost continuously.
Three times Williams tested AW junior goalkeeper Taylor Hill, and three times Hill answered with saves. A fourth time, a Williams shot sailed just above the crossbar.
That dam finally gave way in the 24th minute, when Williams took a pass from Sarah Quimby, turned, and zipped a left-footed shot into the goal from 15 yards out on the side.
“It was frustrating,” Williams said of the earlier missed chances. “But, like my club coach tells me, you’re probably only going to score one goal out of every 15 times you try, so I knew I had to keep trying.
“Finally I got one, and it was great. With our team, once we score a goal, we know it’s our game, and we can control it.”
The goal continued a remarkable streak for the Purdue-bound Williams, who has scored at least one goal in all 20 of Perrysburg’s matches this season.
“Their keeper [Hill] did a great job and made some excellent saves,” Perrysburg co-head coach Margaret Bernard said. “But, I was confident. We were possessing well, and it was just kind of a matter of time before we’d get one in.”
The Perrysburg attack didn’t take long to convert on another opportunity.
This time, in the 29th minute, it was Williams feeding freshman forward Beth Glowacki, who sent a left-footer 15 yards for a goal and a 2-0 Yellow Jackets lead.
Williams’ most impressive sequence of the match created Perryburg’s third goal.
She raced toward the end line to chase down a free ball, sidestepped a Generals defender, stopped the ball before it went out of bounds, and sent a perfect feed to junior teammate Lucy Walton.
Walton banged in the goal from seven yards out in the 51st minute for a 3-0 lead.
“It was a beautiful pass from Maddy, and I was right there at the right time,” Walton said. “Maddy’s just awesome, basically. I’m excited [with the win] and I think we all are. We hope to continue on.”
Williams’ assists were her 15th and 16th of the season.
Perrysburg senior goalkeeper Chloe Buehler needed to make just four saves. The most tenuous moment of her shutout effort came in the 62nd minute, when AW had a couple prime scoring opportunities from left of the goal.
“We were a very composed,” Perrysburg other co-head coach, Jorge Diaz, said. “We had three goals and we dominated the play. All three phases of the game, we really controlled.”
AW’s Hill had 10 saves, as Perrysburg sent 13 of its 27 total shots on goal.
“We knew they were going to come at us, and they’re obviously a fantastic team,” Generals coach Lori Williams said of Perrysburg. “They’re complete, and they knocked the ball around pretty well.
“I’m tremendously please with our girls. I thought they played very hard. Our plan was to attack, and I we didn’t attack as much as I would’ve liked. But unfortunately we weren’t the best team on the field tonight.”
St. Ursula moves on with win over Akron Hoban
SANDUSKY — In a Division II regional semifinal, St. Ursula took a step closer to reaching the state final four for the second straight season with a 1-0 win over Akron Archbishop Hoban.
Jordyn Greer scored three minutes into the second half for the lone goal of the game played in wet conditions at Sandusky High School.
The Arrows outshot Akron Hoban 7-4 as goalkeeper Sydney Yeager posted the shutout.
Neither team had a lot of shots in first half as play was a bit disjointed with no sustain pressure by either side.
St. Ursula coach Chris Black said his team settled in during the second part of the first half.
“Then in the second half we accelerated and got a lot more chances,” Black said.
Archbishop Hoban (14-5-1) had to press in the second half.
“We had a lot of quality opportunities late but we did not capitalize,” Black said.
Greer, a freshman, scored both goals in a 2-0 win over Bowling Green in the district final last Saturday. She also scored one in the district semifinals.
Unranked St. Ursula (12-5-3) advances to face No. 9-ranked Bellville Clear Fork (18-2-0) in the regional final on Saturday at site and time to be determined.
The Arrows knocked off Clear Fork 5-2 in the regional final last year to earn the program's first trip to the final four. St. Ursula lost in the state title game 2-0 to Columbus DeSales.
Black lost 13 letterwinners off of that team but e said the Arrows played a difficult schedule to prepare for the postseason.
“We have confidence,” Black said. “We have hungry kids.”
Contact Steve Junga at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6461 or on Twitter@JungaBlade.