Girls soccer: Ottawa-Glandorf returns to state finals

MANSFIELD — It has been on the minds of the Ottawa-Glandorf girls soccer program since the end of last season.

But it was something Ottawa-Glandorf head coach Michelle Maag did not bring up this week.

The first order of business for O-G was to get past a very good Akron Manchester squad in a Division III state semifinal at Madison Comprehensive’s Startek Stadium on Tuesday night.

After Tuesday night’s 2-0 win against Akron Manchester, the Titans can now look forward to its return to the Division III state championship game.

O-G (20-1-2) will face the winner of Tuesday night’s other state semifinal between Lynchburg-Clay and Cincinnati Country Day, in the Division III state championship game at 4 p.m. Friday at Field in Columbus.

Last season, O-G lost to Waynesville in the D-III state title game, 1-0.

“We didn’t talk about this game (upcoming state title game) at all,” Maag said. “We didn’t talk about getting to the state finals. We were just focused on every single minute, and getting better. Credit the girls. They have done that.

“Now, we finally get a chance to talk about going back to Crew Stadium ( Field). I’m super excited for our girls. They’ve earned this chance. It’s about redemption. We’re going there; and we have a job to do. I can’t wait until Friday.”

Akron Manchester ends its season, 19-2.

O-G is making its second consecutive trip to the state finals, and its third overall trip to the state finals in school history.

O-G came into Tuesday’s state semifinal with 15 consecutive shutouts.

Tuesday night, senior forward Clara Beach scored both of O-G’s goals.

However, O-G did not get on the scoreboard until early into the second half.

O-G finally erased the goose-egg on the scoreboard, just seconds into the second half.

At the 39:27 mark of the second half, O-G junior forward Bri Douglass crossed the ball in front of the net, where Beach headed the ball past Manchester goalkeeper Madi Cox (six saves) for the goal.

O-G began to possess the ball.

Then, at the 29:35-mark, Beach scored off a fastbreak to give the Titans the 2-0 lead.

“That’s the definition of Clara Beach,” Maag said. “She is going to work hard every single minute. She’s going to leave everything out on the field; and you saw that tonight.”

In the first half, O-G took three shots on goal. Manchester managed to get just one clean shot in the first 40 minutes of action.

However, in the second half, O-G took five more shots on goal. Manchester managed to get two shots toward O-G senior goalkeeper Emma Brinkman, but could not find the back of the net. Brinkman had three saves on the night.

Maag said she told her team at halftime that she wanted to push the pace a little more.

“We wanted to get out to a fast start (to start the second half),” Maag said. “Credit the kids. I think they came out at halftime with a ton of energy and a ton of pace.

“We didn’t get any corners (corner kicks) in the first half. So, we talked about using some speed on the outside to get some crosses.”

O-G was without the services of Lily Haselman and Makenna Siefker on Tuesday, due to injuries. Siefker was this season’s Western Buckeye League Player of the Year.

“We talked about this year that ‘We is greater than me’. And that’s kind of the mindset that we had, going into this game,” Maag said. “Obviously, we totally miss Makenna and Lily. But we had other kids that were willing to step up, and to fill that void.”

Mark Altstaetter wrote this story for Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.