Swanton goalie Frankie Nelson had to be on her guard all night.
In a Division III girls soccer district semifinal at Evergreen Tuesday, Oct. 26, it was the Ottawa Glandorf Titans taking shots at her from as close as point-blank range. The 23 saves Nelson recorded had to be some kind of record, but she couldn’t stop them all as the Titans stuck five in the net in a shutout win over the Bulldogs.
By the time Alaina Pelland took Swanton’s first shot at the net with 16 minutes left in the game, the Titans had already snapped off 30 on Nelson.
Makenna Siefker beat the senior keeper after Clara Beach found her with a left-to-right pass at the 30:58 mark of the first half. But for the next 23 minutes, Nelson was a force field.
She stoned Carlie Brinkman one-on-one with 18 to go, then in a one minute span at just under 10 to go, Nelson saved a Kaelyn Grothouse corner, stuffed Beach in front of the net, then after Siefker hit the crossbar on the rebound, Nelson’s diving save denied Mackenzie Recker.
But as mentioned, she couldn’t get them all and with 7:36 left, Myka Aldrich scooped up a Bulldog clearing pass and drilled one in from the 15-yard line.
Two minutes later, Beach grabbed another errant pass, split the defense and popped one into the upper left corner for a 3-0 Titan lead.
If Nelson’s 10 first half saves were an ESPN stat, what she did in the second was even more impressive.
Nelson covered up against Siefker on a one-on-one in the first minute, then again from inside the box a minute later.
However, after Nelson’s diving batdown on Grothouse, Beach was on the doorstep for the rebound with 34:30 left in the match.
The Titans got one more the same way eight minutes later when Nelson again made a headlong save against Alexa Fortman, but Siefker was right there to punch in the second chance for the last Titan tally before Ottawa-Glandorf began the parade of players from the bench.
In all, Nelson had 13 more saves in the second half on 18 more Titan attempts at the net.
Ottawa-Glandorf then defeated Archbold 1-0 in the district final on Saturday.