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Published: Thursday, 10/28/2010

Jackets, Wildcats reach D1 district final

BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

The newness of the experience didn't cause her skin to break out in goose bumps. Her knees didn't rattle from nervousness.

But if that had been the case, all of that would have been more likely the result of the heavy, brisk winds that blew through the area and across the field, which made controlling the soccer ball a little more challenging than usual for the players.

Buehler actually embraced the opportunity to defend the Yellow Jackets' goal with their season on the line. She responded by recording saves on the Arrows' first two penalty-kicks to help Perrysburg take a 2-1 victory by outscoring St. Ursula 3-0 in penalty kicks.

"I was very anxious to get it over with, so I just wanted to do the best that I could," said Buehler, who recorded five saves for the game.

Penalty-kick goals by Kelsey Draper, Maggie Whitacre and Meghan Long past Arrows goalie Nicole Fernandez lifted the Yellow Jackets, who will face Northview at 3 p.m. Saturday in a district final.

Northview shut out Maumee 3-0 in the other semifinal.

"It's another well-coached team and they've got some great players," Northview coach Rick Burgin said, regarding a matchup with Perrysburg in the finals.

Buehler blocked penalty kicks attempted by St. Ursula's Stephanie Tronolone and Kiley Armstrong before Kelly Farrell's try sailed wide right of the goal. Farrell's errant shot led to the Yellow Jackets (14-1-4) swarming the field around Buehler in celebration.

"We practice penalty kicks an awful lot and it's a good thing we practice," Buehler said. "Our kickers won it for us."

Perrysburg coach Mike Murphy considered the win a team effort.

"Chloe came up huge," Murphy said. "She is just an outstanding goalkeeper. With all the credit to Chloe, the shooters deserve a lot of credit. There was a lot of pressure."

St. Ursula assistant coach Mike Strauss thought the Arrows (11-5-3) showed plenty of effort trying to come out on top against Perrysburg. A goal by SU's Megan Rafac with just over two minutes remaining in the second half tied the score at 1. Draper had given Perrysburg a 1-0 lead with a goal early in the first half.

"They [the Arrows] wanted it very badly and we had some chances that went off the crossbar," said Strauss, who filled in for St. Ursula head coach Chris Black, who was out of town for business.

Strauss believes the windy evening affected play.

"The wind, that was an equalizer," Strauss said. "Both goals were scored [during regulation] with the wind today."

In the second semifinal, Northview (15-4) dictated the momentum against Maumee (16-3) and when Haley Gasser gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead with a goal during the final minute of the first half, it proved to be all the scoring needed to advance to the district finals.

Goals by Brooke Snead and Courtney Hendrix in the second half helped secure the victory.

"I thought we controlled the tempo, especially when the wind was at our back," Burgin said. "We just needed to clean it up a little and play more focused. Once we started playing within ourselves the game started to get better."

Contact Donald Emmons at:

demmons@theblade.com

or 419-724-6302.



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