FINDLAY – Oak Harbor goalie Riley St. Clair is only a sophomore but she played like a veteran when it counted.
The Rocket sophomore keeper turned back two Celina shots in penalty kicks to end the Bulldogs season after the Rockets bested the Bulldogs on penalty kicks, 4-3, after a double overtime contest in the Division II regional semifinals Tuesday night.
The Rockets advance to play the winner of Mansfield Madison/Rocky River Saturday in the regional final. A time and place have yet to determined.
Celina ends its season with a14-5-1 mark.
After a gruelling 80 minutes of soccer and two overtimes the teams prepared for the penalty kicks.
After the first two players made their shots, Celina gained the advantage when Oak Harbor’s Kaley Daniel hit the post on her shot.
It remained that way until the fourth kicker and that is when St. Clair came up with a save to turn back Reilly Cox’s attempt.
St. Clair then stepped up for her penalty shot and buried it in the back of the net. The Rocket sophomore keeper than went back to her familiar spot on the goal line to make second consecutive save on a shot by Bulldog Jenna Wilson to notch the win for Oak Harbor.
Celina found itself down early when the Bulldogs accidentally stuck one in their goal with less than three minutes in the game.
Coming into the game, Celina had produced three straight shutouts.
Looking to offset that early miscue, the Bulldogs regrouped and slowly began to assert themselves on the Oak Harbor side of the field.
Two decent chances came around the 30 minute mark but Oak Harbor fended off the Bulldog offensive surges.
But that changed around with around 23 minutes left in the half.
Looking to clear a ball in its own box, Oak Harbor made a poor pass and Makenna Klingshirn pounced on the loose ball and quickly slid it to Taylor Klingshirn who was wide open and then buried it in the back of the net for the equalizer.
In the first overtime, the two had key opportunities to secure the win. Celina, in the first minutes of the overtime, came close when a Celina corner kick fell in front of the net and the Bulldogs tried to drive the rebound into the net but were unsuccessful.
Oak Harbor had a chance when it pushed the issue towards the end of the first overtime but the Celina defense turned back the Rockets and Bulldog goalie Kennedy Henry came up with her own big save.
In the second overtime, Celina came out strong in the first minutes and two chances to put the game away but came away empty-handed. On the second attempt, Taylor Klingshirn hit the top cross bar on an open shot and the ball stayed out of the net.