ELIDA — Wapakoneta’s Nicole Richard’s line-drive shot rang off the crossbar with 9:40 to go.
Little did she know she would get another chance several minutes later.
Richard followed her crossbar shot with a goal right under the crossbar with 6:21 to go to lift Wapakoneta to a 2-1 victory over Bath in the Division II girls soccer district finals Saturday at the Elida Sports Complex.
Richard’s first shot at the 9:40 mark came from the top of the 18-yard box.
Then, with the Redskins controlling play at that point, she took control of a loose ball at the top of the arc, 22-yards out.
Richard’s liner went right underneath the middle of the crossbar and into the net.
“I was going to shoot it left first, then I cut it around the girl and I knew it had to go in to win the game. It just happened to go in,” Richard said.
That made it 2-1 Wapak at the 6:21 mark of the match.
It marks Wapakoneta’s second straight trip to the regional semifinals.
The Redskins fell to Mansfield Madison 5-0 in the regional semifinals last year.
Wapak (11-5-2) will meet Millbury Lake at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Findlay High School.
“It feels amazing,” Richard said.
Added Wapak’s Emily Rupert, “It’s very emotional, very exciting. We’re all happy. We set a goal for after the season. We made it here and we want to keep going.’’
Bath ends its season 12-5-2.
“We definitely left our hearts on the field,” Bath coach Brooke Herr said. “It didn’t fall our way.’’
The match was tied at 1 at the half.
And with the game still knotted at 1, Wapak controlled the ball the final 12 minutes.
At that point, the Redskins were playing through and around the Bath 18-yard box.
With 10:39 to go, Wapak’s Nikane Ambos fired a low liner which appeared headed just inside the left post for a goal.
But Bath goalkeeper Emily Rocca flew to her right and made a diving save at the post to keep the match tied.
“She had quite a few saves,” Herr said. “She definitely kept us in it.’’
Then came Richard’s shot off the crossbar at the 9:40 mark.
The Redskins continued to circle the Bath box and Richard was able to pound home the game-winning goal.
“We kept telling them to be resilient and keep plugging away,” Wapak coach Mike Foor said. “We played well the whole way. We told them it would come.’’
Bath’s best scoring opportunity in the final minutes came with 1:22 to go.
Bath’s Tori Dackin took a free kick from 22-yards out, but it flew over the crossbar.
“We’re just not super deep, and looking back I’d like to get us some subs a little earlier,” Herr said. “I think we were tired and kind of pushing at the end. You could tell when they went on that little surge that last 10 minutes.’’
Wapakoneta outshot Bath 14-6.
Rocca made six saves for Bath.
Wapakoneta goalkeeper Corrine Raney made five saves.
Wapak had four corner kicks, while Bath had one.
The Redskins took a 1-0 lead when Morgan Follin scored on a penalty kick. She delivered the shot into the upper-right corner of the net with 28:53 left in the first half.
Bath tied it at 1 with 4:51 left before halftime.
Dackin, who was at the midfield circle, sent a deep ball down the center of the field.
Chandler Clark gathered in Dackin’s pass and hit a laser shot from the edge of the box, 18-yards out, into the upper-left corner of the net.
It remained that way until Richard sent the Redskins to the regionals.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0468.