Girls soccer: Shawnee outlasts Celina for Division II district championship

ELIDA — Shawnee secured a Division II girls soccer championship with a 2-1 overtime victory Saturday.

The champions will play Tuesday night against Mansfield Madison Comprehensive in Tiffin. Celina and Shawnee played to a 2-2 tie in the regular season. Meeting in the tournament, a tie was impossible. With overtimes and possibly penalty kicks, there was no way a winner would not be decided. But they tried.

Celina opened the match with intensity, getting the ball into the attacking third. But the Shawnee defense held tough. Repelling Celina’s offense attempts, Shawnee was not able to mount a serious attack at the beginning of the match. Celina controlled the midfield and the attack with Shawnee occasionally mounting an offensive threat with a counter attack.

The Celina intensity faded halfway into the first half, allowing Shawnee to become more offensive. With 5:21 left in the first half, Shawnee took the lead on a goal by Tayma Jmiai. The halftime score was Shawnee 1 Celina 0.

The second half started much like the first. Celina pressured the Shawnee defense, but the Shawnee defense held until Celina forward Allana Carroll scored a goal with 11:30 remaining in regulation. The remainder of regulation time was spent mostly in the midfield. Passes were intercepted, tackles were made with the defense disrupting their opponents build up of offensive play. Regulation play ended with a draw.

Going into the 15 minute overtime period, both teams were tired. Playing back and forth through the midfield the final score would be the result of a defensive mistake. At 8:02 in the overtime period the Bulldogs made the mistake, letting the ball get behind them and Shawnee forward Kamryn Morris placed the ball in the back of the net, securing the championship.

“When you’re not controlling the center of the field in the midfield, it really makes it hard to set up any offense and you’re kind of constantly on your heels,” Celina’s head coach Eric Gerker said. “We generated a lot of opportunities and Nance (Shawnee goalkeeper Chloe Nance) made some great saves on us too. She turned a lot of our good opportunities away. She deserves a lot of credit for how she played today too. We had a great year. The girls played well and we got nothing to hang our heads about.”

“We knew that if we kept pushing and pressing the line we would be able to get the ball in behind and try to use our speed up front. We had some offside calls. We had our wingers stay a bit wider and get on the attack to get into space, then we were OK,” Caroline Obrien said.

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