While it took Archbold almost 25 minutes to get their first goal, once they did the floodgates opened, and they then tacked on three more in a 4-1 victory over Liberty Center in a Division III girls soccer sectional final at Ruihley Park Tuesday.
“They played tremendous soccer today,” said Archbold Assistant Coach Jennifer Kidder. “And it was a huge team effort. The passing was outstanding. We had the speed that we needed. I mean, every line — defense, midfield, forwards — they all just did their job.
“They earned it today. They played their hearts out. Couldn’t ask for a better game.”
With the win, the Blue Streaks were able to get the win they were seeking when the two teams met in the regular season, and played to a scoreless tie on Sept. 30.
“We have speed up top and we were utilizing that speed. You saw that, that’s how we got some goals scored today,” said Kidder on what was different from the regular season matchup. “I know that I walked away from that game (in the regular season) feeling like we were the better team. We didn’t get the score to prove it, but they proved it today.”
It was Sophie Rupp striking first, slipping one in from the right side for a 1-0 advantage at the 15:03 mark.
The Streaks got the benefit of a right place, right time scenario for their second goal. After a shot by Carlee Meyer ricocheted off the crossbar, Joelle Waidelich was there to finish on the left side, putting them on top 2-0 with seven minutes left in the half.
Archbold scored early in half number two when Jenna Mahnke found the back of the net at the 38:18 mark.
The Streaks extended it to 4-0 with 18:50 to play. Rupp got a breakaway opportunity and blasted one that Liberty Center goalkeeper Tarryn Hollenbaugh got a hand on, but the ball trickled past her into the goal.
Rupp, who recently made the move from defense to forward, had two of the Blue Streak goals.
“We just needed some more firepower there. It paid off again today. And it wasn’t even just that, like the passing, her passes were outstanding,” said Kidder.
LC was able to get on the board in the final minute on a goal from Aubree Hollenbaugh with just 12 seconds remaining.
Archbold now moves onto the district semifinal at Evergreen next Tuesday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.