BOWLING GREEN — Coming off an emotional 3-2 shootout win against Liberty-Benton in the district final Saturday, St. Marys showed it may have been a little drained from that contest as the Roughriders put in a hard-fought, 3-0 victory against Maumee in the Division II regional semifinals Tuesday night.
With the win, St. Marys improves to 19-2-1 and will face Copley at Bowling Green at 1 p.m. Saturday.
“It wasn’t our best soccer and sometimes getting by is OK,” St. Marys head coach Nick Wilson said. “We will take it. Survive and advance.”
Rider Ariel Fast scored twice and Krista Ruppert scored a goal.
St. Marys came out with the pressure early and was led by Fast, who along with her teammates, probed and prodded the Panther defense and could not break through.
It appeared the Roughriders were going to score when Fast collided with goalie Haley Hughes in the box and Fast was awarded a penalty kick and Hughes was given a yellow card and sent off. However, Hughes replacement, sophomore Charley Bischoff, despite coming in cold, stopped Fast’s shot to keep the game scoreless.
“When you are surrounded by 29 teenage girls you never know what you are going to get,” Wilson said. “It is a bit of Jekyll and Hyde and who showed up and if all the Jekylls show up at one time you never know what is going to happen so we had ton of emotion Saturday and coming in with two days in between you never know.”
The Riders responded more Jekyll than Hyde the rest of the game.
Despite being turned back on that penalty kick Fast broke through on a free kick when Maumee was whistled for a penalty just outside the goalie box. Fast promptly then ripped one past Hughes on the left side for the score and St. Marys led 1-0 with 8:30 left on the clock.
The Riders’ second score came a little less than four minutes later when Maumee once again was hit with a penalty inside the box and this time it was Ruppert doing the honors as she blasted one into the top of the net to give the Riders a 2-0 advantage with 4:59 showing in the first half.
“We had some pretty good possessions but couldn’t finish on a lot of stuff and couldn’t finish on a lot of them that we would have liked,” Wilson said. “We had nine shots in the first half. That goalie is hanging her head over there but man it could have been a bigger. “
Maumee, which made no serious threat in the first half, adjusted somewhat to generate some offense but the Panthers were unable to finish their offensive attacks.
It was St. Marys that added a third goal when Fast found herself in the right place at the right time when she punched a rebound off the goalie for her second score of the night.
“You don’t come by an Ariel Fast all that often,” Wilson said. “I am always a little harder on her than some of the others because she is hard on herself and I want to pull the best out of her. She was trying too hard in the first half and she always sees it that way and once she loosened up in the second half, she was better.”
Wilson also praised the team’s defensive effort starting with goalie Ella Jacobs. This was the third shutout in the postseason.
“I am very fortunate to have Ella Jacobs and Ariel Fast on the same team and in the same class,” Wilson said. “The way she keeps is so technical and spot on that both of those two are self made and work very, very hard.”
“We gave the game ball to Amelia Ankerman but it could have easily gone to Gabby (Keller) or to Lauren Jacobs and Lauren won the game ball the last game,” Wilson said. “Amelia is left footed so we get a chance to push her up the field and she took advantage of that so we are proud of our defense.”
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.