After keeping the ball in the offensive end for most of the night, it was a stunning goal by Napoleon off a throw in late in overtime that ended the season for the Wauseon girls soccer team in a tough 1-0 loss in a Division II sectional final Tuesday.
Wauseon outshot the visiting Wildcats 17-2, but the last shot Napoleon sent towards the Indian goal was the difference. With the clock rolling under five minutes left in the first of what appeared to be two overtimes, Karleigh Sonnenberg took a throw-in and faced up to the Wauseon net while still playing 30-yards away from the goal. She sent a bouncing ball towards the net, and the Napoleon team celebrated moments later when it settled in the back of the net for the game-winner.
“The result doesn’t show what happened on the field for 80-plus minutes,” said Wauseon coach Brandon Schroeder after the loss. “I don’t know what it was. We just got stuck in our feet a little bit.”
Wauseon, who had chances all night, nearly ended the game three minutes into the extra session. Abby Smith blasted away from the left side, but Napoleon keeper Jillian Richard left her feet to knock the shot away. Richard also left the box on an attempt with 8:48 left in overtime, however, Wauseon was called for an offsides penalty.
“We did everything right, we just couldn’t finish,” admitted Schroeder.
The Indians jumped into an offensive attack right from the first touch. Smith added a shot near the halfway mark, but Richard again made the save.
Smith had the best attempt in the second half. Down to inside the 10 minute mark of regulation, she outraced the Napoleon defense for a one-on-one chance with Richard. Richard was able to win the battle with Smith and it kept the game scoreless.
“They had a fantastic keeper who came up big,” the Wauseon coach said of the sophomore Richard. “There was a couple mistakes she made, but we weren’t in the right place to capitalize.
The final chance the Indians had to win in regulation came off a corner kick with 2:45 left. Off a kick by Teagan Rupp, Richard again stepped up and knocked the ball out of the air and kept Napoleon in a scoreless tie with Wauseon.
Wauseon ends the season at 10-5-2.