LIMA — The cold weather has settled in for the soccer postseason.
And that’s fine with Lima Central Catholic forward Sydney Santaguida.
Santaguida had three goals and one assist in the T-Birds’ 4-0 victory over Miller City in the Division III girls soccer sectional finals Saturday at Spartan Stadium.
LCC (12-2-3) advances to the district semifinals against Kalida at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday at Celina. Miller City is 3-10-3.
In the boys sectional finals at Spartan Stadium, Fort Jennings’ Troy Ricker scored with 9:44 to go to lift the Musketeers past Lima Central Catholic, 3-2.
Santaguida, the senior playmaker, has 26 goals this season. For her career, she has 86 goals.
It was a cold, windy, rainy day, but Santaguida led the team’s offense, keeping the ball in the Miller City end most of the day.
“I think we all like playing in the cold, rather than the 80-degree weather,” Santaguida said. “You don’t get as tired, so I like the cold better. It’s almost harder to breathe when it’s hot.”
Santaguida’s first goal came on a line drive from 25-yards out. That gave the T-Birds a 1-0 lead with 18:08 in the first half.
LCC made it 2-0 on a pass from Santaguida to Liz Taflinger, who drilled it into the back of the net from the goal box. That came with 4:16 left in the first half to give the T-Birds a 2-0 halftime lead.
Taflinger has returned this year after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her knee last year.
“We’ve always played well together through junior high,” Santaguida said of Taflinger. “Now having her up front again, we’re working very well together.”
Taflinger ended up with a goal and an assist.
LCC outshot Miller City, 21-8. LCC goalkeeper Madison Stolly made six saves for her eighth shutout of the year and 15th in the sophomore’s career.
Santaguida added two goals in the second half, including one one a feed from Sam Koenig.
The T-Birds contolled the ball and the possession game most of the way.
“We possessed the ball and we had a lot of good looks,” LCC coach Mike Santaguida said. “It’s cold out here, but we have a lot of seniors who don’t want their season to be done.”
The LCC defense had another plus day, with sweeper Tatum Wise using her speed to stop the Wildcats in front of Stolly.
“Our defense has been playing real well,” Santaguida said. “And Madison is coming into her own.”
Division III at Spartan Stadium
Fort Jennings 3, LCC 2
Fort Jennings rallied from a 1-0 halftime deficit to post a 3-2 victory over Lima Central Catholic in the Division III sectional finals Saturday at Spartan Stadium.
The Musketeers (9-5-4) advance to the district semifinals against Continental at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Kalida. LCC ends its season 10-5-2.
Fort Jennings’ Troy Ricker scored the game-winning goal from 25-yards out with 9:44 to play to make it 3-2.
“Alex (Berelsman) may have gotten fouled, but the ball popped out. I took a shot and it went in,” Ricker said.
Rogelio Flores gave LCC a 1-0 lead on a pass from Alberto Bessone with 30:50 left in the first half. That’s how the first half ended.
But in the second half, Fort Jennings dominated the time of possession and the passing game. Mark Metzger tied the game at 1 on a penalty kick with 33:58 left.
Austin Kehres gave Fort Jennings a 2-1 lead with 21:48 left. Bessone scored his 28th goal of the year for LCC to tie the game at 2 with 15:26 left.
Fort Jennings outshot LCC, 11-6.
“They made some adjustments at halftime and they came out much more aggressive and much more physical,” LCC coach Garry Tabler said. “They took us out of our game. They made some adjustments with their formations and flooded a lot of bodies into the attacking third of the field and did a lot of different things with movement off the ball.”
The Musketeers’ Kyle Maag did a nice job of following Bessone all over the field and holding him to three shots on the day.
“He’s a very talented player and was a handful for us,” Ricker said. “But give credit to our defense. We were able to keep it together back there.”