OTTOVILLE — The rain was driving down so hard one could barely see across the field.
But that didn’t stop Spencerville’s Emma Leis from finding Kelsey Shaffer in the box.
Shaffer scored with 11:02 left in the second overtime period to lift Spencerville to a 2-1 victory over Kalida in the Division III girls soccer district championship Saturday at Ottoville.
“It’s amazing,” Shaffer said. “I knew the team could do it.’’
The match was tied at 1 after regulation and at the end of the first 15-minute overtime period.
Both teams were battling through an all-game, driving rain, which created slippery conditions and puddles throughout the field.
“It was crazy,” Leis said. “We kept saying we wanted to go home, but right now I wouldn’t want to play anywhere else but here right now. The rain made it so much for fun.’’
Then, in the second overtime, Leis picked up a loose ball just into the offensive half of the field.
She dribbled down the right flank and fed a perfect pass to Shaffer in the heart of the box.
Shaffer one-timed a heel-flick shot into the left corner of the net and past a diving Kalida goalkeeper Bailey White.
That ended it at 2-1 at the 11:02 mark of the second overtime.
“Emma’s always looking for me and she found me,” Shaffer said. “It luckily went in. I’m just so happy for the team and I.’’
Added Leis, “Kelsey’s been making runs all night and I was trying to look for her and we had that perfect opportunity. We had it there and I just passed it.’’
Shaffer said hitting the shot with her heel was probably the only way she could score on White.
“I figured if I hit it with my heel it would be more toward the left corner and away from her (the goalkeeper) because she’s such an amazing goalie.’’
Spencerville coach Kathy Goecke was proud of the way her team played in the conditions.
“Our speed is our biggest advantage and we couldn’t use it all today,” Goecke said. “You couldn’t dribble the ball. It almost took us out of our game, but in their heart, they didn’t give up.’’
Spencerville (16-3) will make its first girls soccer regional semifinal appearance against Archbold at 7 p.m. Tuesday at a site to be named.
“It’s fantastic, really great,” Goecke said. … “They’re a tough group.’’
Kalida ends its season 12-7.
“Both teams left it all out on the field in not too great conditions,” Kalida coach David Kehres said. “I’m so proud of our goals. We’ve been battling adversity all year long and one injury after another.’’
Mya Schmitz scored for Kalida.
Shaffer had both goals for Kalida.
Spencerville outshot Kalida 12-9.
Both defenses and both goalkeepers were outstanding, especially in the monsoon-like conditions.
Spencerville goalkeeper Kottia Williams had nine saves.
Kalida goalkeeper White made eight saves.
Kalida controlled the midfield most of the first half and that helped lead to its goal.
The Wildcats played the ball through the midfield to Livia Recker, who dribbled down and fed Schmitz in the box.
Schmitz drilled a shot from 12-yards out which hit the back of the net to give Kalida a 1-0 lead.
That came with 24:11 left in the first half.
Spencerville was able to get even on a penalty kick.
After a Spencerville player was pushed inside the box, a penalty kick was awarded to the Bearcats.
Shaffer took the PK and lined it into the upper-left corner of the goal to tie the match at 1 with 22:23 left in the first half.
From there, the match was a battle of defenses and goalkeepers.
Kalida defender McKenna Bockrath followed Shaffer all over the field, even when she was 40-yards away from the ball.
When Shaffer touched the ball, another Wildcat surrounded her.
“Our defense the last few games have really stepped it up and played solid for us,” Kehres. “They’ve been communicating and not letting them have any good, clean shots. And when we do, we have Bailey (White) coming up with some great saves.
“What more can you ask for when you play in a downpour for almost 100 minutes?’’
Dayna Schimmoeller also helped anchor the Kalida defense.
Kalida’s White made two bang-bang saves within seconds off a Spencerville corner kick with 12 minutes left in the second overtime period.
Williams made several key saves for the Bearcats.
She was helped by her defense, as well, including Olivia Goecke, Raygen Martinez, Jenna Litsey and Taylor Hobbs.
Leis said a key was playing the ball through the air more in the second half to avoid the puddles.
“You had to keep the ball off the ground, which is difficult for us because we like to keep it on the ground,” Leis said. “But we made it work.’’
This is the fourth year for Spencerville soccer and it now has a regional appearance.
“It’s crazy,” Leis said. “This feeling is indescribable.’’
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.