ELIDA — Wapakoneta’s Katie Manger can play anywhere.
And she pretty much did Saturday.
Manger, a midfielder/forward, had two saves and one goal in penalty-kick overtime to lift Wapakoneta to a 1-0 victory over Elida in the Division II girls soccer district championship.
Wapakoneta won the penalty-kick round 4-2 to decide it.
That came after the match was scoreless after regulation and two sudden-death 15-minute overtime periods.
It marks Wapakoneta’s first trip to the girls soccer regionals.
“This is absolutely amazing. We have come so far since my freshman year,” Manger said.
The Redskins (19-0) will meet the Mansfield Madison/Ontario winner at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Lima’s Spartan Stadium.
Elida ends its season 12-6.
“I cannot say enough about this team and the effort they showed,” Elida coach Elise Jenkins said. … “If you wanted a (great) district final game, I think everyone here, the fans, had a district final game.’’
With the match tied at 0 and heading into penalty kicks, Wapakoneta coach Mike Foor made the decision to take goalkeeper Corrine Raney out of the goal.
He replaced her with midfielder Manger, the Western Buckeye League player of the year.
“Katie is one who will do anything for the team,” Foor said. “We talked about it in practice and we talked about it with (starting goalkeeper) Corrine. If it came to PKs, Katie would go in goal. Katie is cool, calm and collected. … She’s been practicing PKs the last week and a half and been doing goalkeeper training to get in the routine. …. That’s why she’s the WBL player of the year.’’
The senior Manger had played the match in the midfield and hadn’t played in the goal since her sophomore year.
But Foor told Manger to be ready to take over if a tournament match went to penalty kicks.
“He asked me two weeks ago how I would feel about being the goalie if it came down to PKs,” Manger said. “I told him I goof around in the goal all the time and I practice with my brother for PKs, too. I’ve been pretty prepared for it, mentally, and physically, being prepared in practice.’’
Manger came up big with two saves on Elida’s four penalty-kick shots.
She slid to the right post to make a save on Elida’s Cienna Kuhn to keep the PK score at 1-0, Redskins.
Manger’s second save, was a diving, knock-down save at the left post on a line-drive shot by Baylie Moening.
“I picked a direction and if I’m right, I’m right,” Manger said of her diving save. “It scared me a little. I was glad I got it.’’
That kept the Redskins ahead 3-2 going to the final round of shooters.
Manger, then got up off the ground after her save, took a breath and headed to the penalty-kick line, 12-yards out.
Manger’s penalty kick landed in the upper-left corner of the net to give Wapak a 4-2 penalty-kick score and a 1-0 win.
Manger, Madison Lause, Emily Ruppert and Emma Kenter scored in the penalty-kick round for Wapak.
Jaydon Hollstein and Jency Jenkins scored off the penalty kicks for Elida.
Both teams’ back lines played outstanding defense.
Wapak sweeper Kenter and defender Torie Carter continually turned away Elida from dribbling into the 18-yard box.
“They did a wonderful job,” Foor said.
Elida’s defense of sweeper Bella Wallace and defenders Moening, Jessica Siefker and Jacqueline Nichols set up a wall at the other end.
With 10:37 to play in regulation, Moening made a save at the goal line on a 6-yard shot by Emily Ruppert.
And in the second overtime period, Wallace came up with two big saves in the goal box.
“Our defense played outstanding. It was complete heart,” Elida coach Jenkins said. “I can’t say enough about the back line.’’
Elida controlled play for most of the second half and the overtimes, but couldn’t finish.
“We had momentum our way, we just couldn’t capitalize,” coach Jenkins said.
Wapak outshot Elida 10-9.
Redskins goalkeeper Corrine Raney had seven saves.
Elida freshman goalkeeper Erika Suever had seven saves.
But the two biggest saves came by midfielder-turned-goalkeeper Manger.
“This is massive,” Foor said.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.