LIMA – Wapakoneta’s midfielders controlled the action.
And the Redskins forwards brought it home from there.
Wapakoneta posted a 2-0 victory over Millbury Lake in the Division II girls soccer regional semifinals Tuesday at Findlay High School.
It will mark Wapak’s first trip to the regional finals in girls soccer.
“We love making history,” Wapakoneta forward Morgan Follin said. “It’s really unbelievable that we’re doing this.’’
Wapakoneta (12-5-2) advances to the regional finals against Bay Village Bay on Saturday at a time and site to be named.
Bay knocked off Mansfield Madison 1-0 in the other regional semifinal.
Wapak advanced to the regional semifinals last year before falling to Madison 5-0.
Lake ends its season 13-6-1.
Wapakoneta and Lake played during the regular season, with the match ending in a 3-3 tie.
This time around it was more one-sided, especially in the first half.
Follin and Emily Ruppert scored for the Redskins. Emily Ruppert also had an assist.
Wapak controlled possession the bulk of the first half.
The Redskins controlled the midfield and were sending midfielders and forwards through the 18-yard box.
“We talked about coming out and being fired up,” Wapak coach Mike Foor said. “We knew we could compete really well with Lake since we played them earlier in the season and tied them. We controlled the midfield really well, which really set the tone for our game. We had lots of opportunities.’’
Wapak took a 1-0 lead with 31:23 left in the first half.
Emily Ruppert, just inside the left side of the 18, sent a pass to Follin, who was just to the right of the 12-yard penalty mark.
Follin pounded it into the upper-right corner of the net to give the Redskins a 1-0 lead.
“She (Emily) beat the outside back with her speed and she laid it right across the ground and I just hit in with my left foot,” Follin said.
Wapak outshot Lake in the first half 6-1.
Lake’s only scoring chance of the half came off a free kick from 22-yards out by Colette Askins with 7:37 left in the first half. The ball didn’t reach the goal, but
Askins fired a rebound shot from 22 yards and Wapak goalkeeper Corrine Raney made the save.
Wapak’s midfield directed the action with Madi Lause leading the way.
Lause, Nicole Richard and Drew Peachey continually pushed the ball ahead to the Abbigail and Emily Ruppert and Follin up front.
“The midfielders are our guides,” Follin said. “They control everything. They had a phenomenal game. Madi got balls up to us every single time. She likes kick it up to us because she knows we can get it in the net.’’
Wapak’s defense was steady with wing defenders Hayden Lawrence and Taylor Jenkins, along with center defenders Emma Kentner and Torie Carter.
With 20 minutes to go, Lake pulled up its defenders and began to press into the offensive third.
The Flyers’ best chance of the night came with 8:21 to go.
Ava Ayers hit a low-line shot from 14-yards off which banged off the left goal post.
Lake got a rebound shot after the Ayers’ miss, but the shot was 8-yards wide left of the goal.
With Lake pushing up, Wapakoneta was able to get a breakaway in the final minutes.
The Ruppert twins switched sides up front in the final seven minutes, with Emily moving to right forward and Abbigail taking the spot at left forward.
Abbigail Ruppert sent a ball through the circle at midfield.
Emily Ruppert gobbled it up on the other side of the circle, went around a defender and dribbled into the 18-yard box.
Emily Ruppert found the back of the net from 8-yards out on a shot down the middle and under the crossbar.
That gave the Redskins a 2-0 lead with 5:24 to go.
“We moved Emily to the other side so she could come into the goal with her left foot,” Foor said. “It was a great ball, she used her wheels and away she went.’’
Wapak outshot Lake 11-6.
Wapakoneta goalkeeper Rainey made three saves.
Lake goalkeeper Hayley St. John had seven saves.