The Lady Patriots faced a very talented Hilliard Bradley Jaguars (#10 seed) this evening in the District Semi-Final, which was a rematch of an earlier season battle that resulted in a 0-0 draw on Bradley’s home turf.
In the regular season matchup, the 10-4-3 Jaguars, led by Coach Dan Hoover, had the better of possession and the Patriots had trouble with their strong, well coached, senior led back line and physical style of play. However, the Patriots adjusted in tonight’s Playoff rematch, controlled possession, put the Jaguars on the defensive and notched a 1-0 shutout victory to advance to the Central Region, District 4 Championship on Saturday at Gahanna High School (neutral site) at 2:00PM vs. Bishop Watterson.
Check out the updated Central Region bracket at http://brackets.ohsaa.org/regionalbracket.aspx?t=4165&ts=9449¬=4http://brackets.ohsaa.org/regionalbracket.aspx?t=4146&ts=9432%AC=4 where all four top seeds in the region (Coffman, Pick North, Davidson, Liberty) have advanced to their respective District Championship matches.
Liberty had a strong chance in the early minutes of the match when Kylie Slusser beat three Jaguars to the endline, crossed the ball and a couple Patriot shots failed to find the open net. For the next 20 minutes, each team’s defenses kept the other from seeing too many chances, but with 12 minutes remaining in the first half, Senior Captain Erin Walters started a counter-attack up the left flank playing a ball to Kylie Slusser‘s feet. Slusser redirected the ball to Natalie Flahive who cut the ball back across the middle of the field, beat two Jaguar defenders and buried a bomb from 25+ yards into the Upper 90 to score what would turn out to be the winning goal. Walters and Slusser were both credited with assists on the goal. The goal was Flahive’s 20th of the season, which is believed to rank second in Lady Patriots Soccer history only to Ashley Elsass’ 26 goals in a previous season.
Miranda Kuhns registered three saves in net for the Pattys, none bigger than a deflected high ball off a shot from distance late in the second half that looked like it was headed for the equalizer.
As the Lady Patriots turn their full attention to the District final matchup with Watterson, here are some other “notable notes” from the season to date.
Great job so far, but there is still work to be done! Let’s rally players, families, friends and the community to come out and support your Pattys in their quest for the district championship vs. Watterson at Gahanna HS on Saturday at 2:00PM!