Delphos St. John’s Alyssa Gable (9) watches as her penalty kick sails over the fingers of Lincolnview goalie Julia Thatcher in a sectional tournament game at Elida Middle School Saturday. The penalty kick gave the Lady Jays a 2-1 win. (Times Bulletin/Tom Morris)
BY NICK JOHNSON
Times Bulletin Correspondent
ELIDA- The Lincolnview Lancers and Delphos St. John's Blue Jays girls soccer teams travelled to Elida Middle School for the Division III girls sectional soccer tournament on Saturday night.
The match between the Lancers and Blue Jays was one of those matches that you don't want to see end, but it did, on penalty kicks, and St. John's Alyssa Gable put one in to seal a 2-1 Lady Jay win.
The Blue Jays got the ball to start the first half, and it was a battle back-and-forth between both teams. For much of the first half, both teams tried to get an advantage over the other, but neither was successful.
With the score tied at zero, and the first half of the match looking like it was going to be scoreless, Lancer senior forward Kaylee Thatcher beat Lady Jay keeper Samantha Wehri to the left post to give Lincolnivew a 1-0 lead with 1:54 left in the first half.
The Lancers had four shots-on-goal and two corner kicks, and the Blue Jays had two shots-on-goal and only one corner kick in the first half.
Lincolnview got the ball to start the second half, and both teams continued their back-and-forth struggle to take control of the game.
With the clock winding down on the Blue Jays' season, junior Sam Bonifas beat Lancer keeper Julia Thatcher with 10:26 left on the clock to tie the match at one.
Lincolnview defender Hannah McCleery was given a yellow card with 8:32 left to play, and St. Johns was given the chance to win the match in regulation. The Lancer defenders, and Julia Thatcher, were able to withhold the Blue Jay attack, and the second half ended with a 1-1 tie.
The Blue Jays had five shots-on-goal in regulation, and five corner kicks, and the Lancers got seven shots-on-goal and three corner kicks.
The match then went into the first of two overtime periods. The Lancers got the ball to start the first overtime, but neither team was able to muster any offense. Only the Blue Jays were able to get a shot-on-goal, and each team got a corner kick in the first overtime.
The second overtime saw St. John's get the ball to start, but again neither team could get anything going, as the defenses and goal keeping for both teams were excellent. Each team got one shot-on-goal in the second overtime.
After the second overtime period, the game would be decided by penalty kicks for the rights to play Coldwater on Thursday night.
Gable then took, what may be the biggest goal of her career, a kick which went over the fingertips of Julia Thatcher to give St. John's a 2-1 win.
With the upset win, the Blue Jays advance to 3-12-1 on the season, and the Lancers fall to 9-8 on the season.
"We had a rough year. We had so many new girls in our program, and we worked all year to try and put something together in the tournament. And the Lancers were having an unbelievable year. So we came into the game knowing we would have to give it our all to win the match. We had a lot of good shots, and our girls never gave up. A lot of our girls played 120 minutes, and I'm very proud of their hard work," said Delphos St. John's coach John Munoz
The Blue Jays worked all season for that moment, explained Munoz. "We have been prepared for something like this. Being down, the girls know that they still have a chance. The girls were mentally prepared and we didn't want to leave it on the field, so if that meant going to PKs, we were ready. We just didn't want to go home knowing that we could have done more."
"It was a great match, They were a great team, we just couldn't capitalize on our opportunities, We had some chances, but the wet field didn't help. The second half, we regrouped and played our game, and the Jays just beat us on that goal. If we were going to lose, I didn't want to lose by a lot. I wanted it to go down to PKs, and I wanted the other team to try and take the victory from us," said Lincolnview coach and 2012 NWC Girls Soccer Coach of the Year Katrina Smith.
St. Johns advances to play Coldwater on October 18.