In the nightcap at Pifer Field Tuesday, Leah McQuade knocked home the game’s only goal with 6:19 left in the first overtime to give Archbold a 1-0 win over Evergreen in a Division III girls soccer district semifinal.
Unlike the first game of the Division III district (a 3-2 Swanton win over O-G), quality scoring chances in the Archbold-Evergreen game were minimal.
Reagan Kohler made two saves, one on Mackenzie Mitchey’s kick and another off Emma Bettinger’s header off the rebound after a Viking corner with 19 minutes left in the first half to keep the match scoreless.
Meanwhile, the Vikings kept the Blue Streaks off the board as the consensus on press row had Archbold without a first half shot.
“There were definitely not a lot of shots on goal tonight,” said Archbold assistant coach Jen Kidder. “We knew it wasn’t going to be easy coming in here tonight.
“We kept pressuring, we had some opportunities. Evergreen packed in their defense and with this wind (that gusted as high as 35 MPH) it has to be perfect passes and small passes and we just weren’t getting that tonight.”
In the second half the Vikings’ Paige Radel had the best chance to break the scoreless tie when she rammed one off the right post with 17 minutes to go.
“That was a huge, huge break,” exclaimed Kidder. “That was such a tremendous shot and luckily the soccer gods were on our side today and it just bounced the right way (for us) and not into the goal.”
Chloe Nofziger, who had a minimum of touches all night as she was shadowed by Joclyn Schuster and Kierstyn Taylor, got free in the last minute but her header from in front went over the crossbar to allow the game to get into overtime.
McQuade rifled a shot from the right that Jordan Lumbrezer made a save on with 9:50 left but a little over three minutes later, McQuade got another chance from 30 yards out and went right to left into the top corner on the left side of the net for the game winner.
“Thankfully we got the one in the end that mattered and it was just a beautiful shot by Leah,” stated Kidder. “There wasn’t a keeper that was going to stop that it was just a tremendous shot.”
For the match Archbold did outshoot the Vikings 11-10 with Kohler making six saves. Lumbrezer was credited with four.
The Vikings bow out after winning their second consecutive Division III sectional in just their fourth year as a program.
Archbold advances to the district title game at Evergreen Saturday at 2 p.m.
Reach Joe Blystone at firstname.lastname@example.org