Girls soccer: Kalida head to Division III regionals with win against Columbus Grove

OTTOVILLE — Kalida and Columbus Grove were so evenly matched in Saturday’s Division III girls district soccer final that 80 minutes of play were not enough, resulting in two 15 minute overtimes and a penalty-kick shootout to find the winner.

The Lady Wildcats (10-5-4) won that 4-2 to seize a 1-0 victory.

“It was a defensive battle, both teams, they gave it everything they had today, you know, I mean I knew it was going to be a hard-fought game and you know it’s a high-pressure situation there when you go to PK’s,” Kalida coach David Kehres said.

The first half quickly settled into a defensive tussle, with shots on goal few and far between.

The matchup was a battle for supremacy between the 18-yard boxes and there was an ebb and flow to the matchup. So much so that it went to halftime 0-0.

Both teams had free kick opportunities in the second half with the Wildcats getting an attempt at the 33:33 mark, but the shot by Alex Gardner went wide. Callie Pingle had the Grove chance, but like Gardner her attempt missed the mark.

The best chance was a 30-yard free kick by Lauryn Auchmuty that was denied by Hipsher (7 saves), leaving the score tied.

“I told the girls after the first overtime we got outplayed,” Kehres said. “We played them during the season it was a hard-fault victory for us and then get the PK’s today. When it gets to overtime it’s a crap shoot you know the better team doesn’t always win, it’s just one minor mistake and the other team can capitalize on it and to be honest with you, neither team made any mistakes today, you know both defenses were rock solid for 110 minutes.” Kehres said.

Goalkeepers Kassidy Hipsher from Kalida and Erianne Heffner from Columbus Grove also patrolled their goals well, forcing overtime.

“Our defense is one of the best that we have in the Putnam County League and they do a tremendous job protecting me back there.” Hipsher said. “They’re always there for me and stuff so I give them the props.”

The Bulldogs had the better of the play in the first overtime but couldn’t score.

The same thing happened in the second extra 15 minutes but Hipsher again denied Auchmuty as the Grove defense controlled the Kalida offense, forcing penalty kicks.

The Bulldogs went first but Lauryn Auchmuty hit the left post and Jade Roeder went over the top.

Kalida’s Allie Kuhlman and Ady Miller found home for a 2-0 lead.

“The nerves are always there, it’s always hard as a goalie, just trying to guess. It was a great game by both teams.” Hipsher said.

Grove’s Karsyn Garmatter and Ella Dotson tallied but when Audra Hovest and Lana Grime found the mark, Kalida moved on.

“I’m just tickled to death and proud of these girls you know that I mean I told the girls before the game and I said you have an opportunity to do something that only three teams in the history of our school program have done and that’s to be district champions,” Kehres said. “You want to join that list so that way when you go watch a basketball game or go in that gym and say you are part of that you know and that’s a memory that’ll be forever so I said you know let’s go get it done today.”

The Wildcats take on Cincinnati Medera at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Wapakoneta.

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