Continental's Paige Ordway (2) makes a run on the Oak Harbor goal as Hannah Hess (22) chases her during their regional semi-final match. (Putnam Sentinel/Charlie Warnimont)
Continental's Paige Ordway (2) makes a run on the Oak Harbor goal as Hannah Hess (22) chases her during their regional semi-final match. (Putnam Sentinel/Charlie Warnimont)
By Charlie Warnimont
Sentinel Sports Editor
OTTAWA HILLS - Oak Harbor starts four freshmen on their girls soccer team. After watching them play in the Division III regional semi-finals against Continental Tuesday, one could see why.
Rocket freshman Emma Barney led the offense, while their two freshman defenders frustrated the Pirate offense as Oak Harbor claimed a 3-0 win in this semi-final contest at Ottawa Hills. The Rockets advance to the regional finals Saturday with an 18-1-1 record, while Continental ended their season at 13-3-2.
"We have a lot of young talent. It is amazing," Oak Harbor coach Renee Goldstein said. "Our freshmen are huge. Emma Barney was the SBC Player of the Year and she had two goals tonight. Our other freshman Alexa Weis scored the third goal and we have two freshmen back on defense. They don't have a lot of jitters on the field, but they were nervous going into this game."
Barney got the Rockets rolling with a shot inside of two minutes into the game. That was just a start for the Oak Harbor offense as they had 11 shots on goal in the opening half while the Pirates were held to just one. The one shot that counted for the Rockets came with 19:40 left in the half when Barney stole a pass on the left side of the field, dribbled to the middle of field and fired a shot at the left corner of the goal to beat Pirate goalie Emma Recker.
The Pirates lone shot was a good one as Paige Ordway sent a rocket at Oak Harbor goalie Ivy Martin from close range and the junior held her ground, making the save.
Barney scored her second goal just over two minutes into the second half for a 2-0 lead with 37:54 left to play.
After being held to just one shot in the first half, the Pirates started to put more pressure on the Rocket goal the second half.
Continental senior Ordway had a run up the middle on goal that Oak Harbor freshman defender Maddy Rathbun stopped. With 34 minutes left in the contest, the Pirates were awarded a free kick after a foul on the Rockets. Ordway had the shot on goal, but Rocket Martin jumped up and knocked it over the net.
On the ensuing corner kick, Ordway played a shot into the box, but a Pirate player was unable to connect for a shot. Minutes later on a throw-in, Sloane Zachrich headed the ball towards the goal that was grabbed by Martin.
Continental had two more shots on goal as Ordway had another direct kick that she bounced off the left goal post and a second attempt deflected off a defender. On the corner kick, the Rocket defense cleared the ball.
"They have a lot of quality players. I was impressed with their speed all over the field," Pirate coach Toby Bidlack said. "Our girls fought the entire game and we had some opportunities. We get one of those to fall and you never know. Momentum is a funny thing. Credit to them they never let us get momentum. Their goalie made a fantastic save on that one free kick and we had that one counter attack they denied. If we get one of those to fall you never know what happens."
Oak Harbor sealed the win when Weis scored with 4:00 left.