PEMBERVILLE — With a very talented Eastwood team controlling possession for much of the game, it took every last bit of grit and determination by Archbold to tie it at 1 with under 10 minutes left in regulation; however, it was the Eagles that prevailed in overtime on a goal by Aubrey Haas for the 2-1 win in a Division III girls soccer regional semifinal at Eastwood Tuesday night.
Eastwood will play at Liberty-Benton on Saturday at noon for the regional championship.
“That’s the best soccer team we’ve seen all season long,” admitted Archbold assistant coach Jennifer Kidder after the game. “They have a tremendous amount of speed. They have a lot of dangerous players. They were impressive to watch play. We struggled in the first half. I feel like, finally, in the second half we started getting our groove and playing some good soccer. And we gave them a run for their money. Got back into this game and made them really work there to get that last goal. Can’t take anything away from these girls. They never quit, when they easily could have today. I’m proud of every single one of them.”
The Eagles took the lead with 26:12 remaining when Kaylynn Simon crossed a ball in front of the net to Haas who headed it in for the 1-0 advantage.
Archbold struggled to create chances in the minutes following the goal, but they continued to fight. It paid off at the 8:45 mark, as Leah McQuade banged in a shot off a rebound from the right side to knot it up.
The Blue Streaks nearly made it through the first overtime unscathed until the Eagles broke the tie with 22 seconds left. Haas broke away from the defense and when Archbold goalkeeper Reagan Kohler went out to meet her, she lofted it in the back of the net, winning the game for the Eagles.
Archbold had a difficult time getting its offense going in the first half, and Eastwood played a big role in that. The Eagles outshot the Streaks 6-1 in the first 40 minutes.
“Their speed was unbelievable,” said Kidder. “And it wasn’t just one or two players. Every one of those 10 players out there had a tremendous amount of speed. We haven’t seen that.
“And their possession game was outstanding as well. We had to play our best game; we knew that coming in tonight to beat this team.”
Archbold finishes the season at 14-2-4.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010