DEFIANCE — Archbold’s pin-point passing was just too much to handle.
The Blue Streaks spent most of the match camped out in the Spencerville end of the field.
That helped Archbold post a 2-0 victory over Spencerville in the Division III girls soccer regional semifinals Tuesday night at Defiance High School.
Helping keep the game within two goals was credit to the Bearcats’ defenders and goalkeeper Kottia Williams, who gobbled up 15 saves.
It was Spencerville’s first girls soccer regional appearance.
Spencerville, in only its fourth year of existence, ends its season 16-4.
Spencerville coach Kathy Goecke was proud of her team’s season.
“I didn’t expect us to be one of the top 16 teams in the state,” Goecke said. “They don’t need to hang their heads. If they could have attacked the whole game like they did at the end, it may have been a little bit different. … But they (Archbold) have 30 players on their team and we have 15.’’
Spencerville’s best chance came with 4:33 to go when Raygen Martinez’s free kick from 28-yards out pinged off the crossbar.
But the Bearcats were down 2-0 at that point.
Archbold (17-1-2) advances to the regional finals to meet the Liberty-Benton/Eastwood winner on Saturday, at a time and site to be named.
The Blue Streaks returned a number of veterans from a team that reached the state semifinals last year.
“We didn’t play our best game, but luckily it was enough to get through,” Archbold coach Jennifer Kidder said. “The passes were there. The opportunities were definitely there. There was a lot of great ball movement today.’’
Archbold outshot the Bearcats 20-4, including 12-0 in the first half.
“It was their one or two-touch passes,” Goecke said.
Macy Peterson and Kalyn Baker scored for the Blue Streaks.
Baker thought the key was her team’s possession game.
“We really focused on talking and spacing and our game plan was one or two passes,” Baker said. “We really wanted to make sure that our passes were crisp.’’
Archbold led 1-0 at the half.
But in the first half Spencerville struggled to mount an attack through the midfield.
Archbold scored first off a free kick by Chloe Nofziger from 40-yards out.
The ball went into the box and bounced out to Peterson, who was straight-on, 25-yards out. Peterson lofted it just under the bar to give the Blue Streaks a 1-0 lead.
That came with 35:53 left in the first half.
Spencerville came out strong in the first moments of the second half and got two quick shots on goal.
Back came Archbold.
The Blue Streaks’ midfield dominated play and if the Bearcats did make a surge, Archbold’s defense was able to stop the threat.
“Our defense was outstanding today,” Kidder said. “I don’t think a ball got by them.’’
For the next 25 minutes, the Blue Streaks delivered one or two-touch passes 25-to-30 yards from the goal.
With 33:55 to go, Baker took a corner kick for Archbold.
The ball landed in the heart of the box and the scramble was on for the ball, with many legs whacking away at it.
Then, the ball popped loose back on the foot of Baker 24-yards out, just beyond the arc.
Baker lofted a high shot and Williams leaped.
Williams got her fingertips on the ball, but couldn’t corral it, as it landed in the net.
That gave Archbold a 2-0 lead.
“I took the corner kick and I saw it go on the ground and I said, ‘I’m going to get this ball,’ and I shot it,” Baker said. “We needed it because it was only 1-0.’’
Archbold had the corner-kick edge 6-1.
Blue Streaks goalkeeper Reagan Kohler made three saves.
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