LIMA – The regular-season matchup between Western Buckeye League rivals Elida and Shawnee was a prelude of what was to come in Thursday’s Division II sectional final at Bath.
During the regular season, the two teams battled to a 1-1 tie.
Thursday’s matchup played out pretty much the same way for the entire game as the score was knotted at 1-1 at the end of regulation.
However, after 80 minutes of back-and-forth action, Shawnee finally got the one play it needed in the first sudden-victory overtime.
Just a little more than two minutes into the first overtime, Kaitlynn Gronas got off a shot on a breakaway, sticking the ball into the back of the net to give Shawnee a 2-1 victory over Elida.
With the win, Shawnee (9-5-3) will take on Celina at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Elida in a district semifinal. Celina defeated Van Wert 9-0 Thursday to win its sectional title.
“We just came out and our defense really picked it up,” Gronas said. “We got it down the field, and I was there to clean it up.”
Shawnee got on the scoreboard first with a goal by Asher Roberts at 24:07 mark of the first half.
Elida had an opportunity later in the first half, when Lindsay Hall got a penalty kick in front of the box. However, Hall’s kick was rejected by Shawnee goalkeeper Nikole McPheron (four saves).
In a second half, both teams had their opportunities. With 1:05 left to play in regulation, Brett Pauff got a free kick from 20 yards away. Pauff’s kick slipped past McPheron, knotting the game at 1 apiece.
“We knew this was going to be a battle,” Shawnee coach Caroline O’Brien said. “I thought both teams had some opportunities. I thought we did a good job, defensively, in the second half.”
For the game, both Shawnee and Elida got off five shots on goal. However, it was Shawnee who got the last good look.
“This was a typical Elida/Shawnee game,” Elida coach Brady Overholt said. “We were playing without a couple girls who were injured. … That didn’t help. But, both teams had some missed opportunities. They (Shawnee) just happened to get one more opportunity than us tonight.”
BATH 14, DEFIANCE 0
The first sectional final played Thursday at Bath was over nearly as quickly as it started.
Bath got out quickly and never looked back, as it ran away with the sectional crown.
For the game, Bath took a total of 36 shots on goal, while Defiance failed to get a shot at Bath goalkeeper Audrey Brandon.
With the win, Bath (11-3-2) will take on St. Marys at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Elida.