LIBERTY TWP. — Sophomore Savannah Grubbs tallied two goals to lead the way for Lakota West High School’s girls soccer team Tuesday night.
The seventh-seeded Firebirds handled No. 4 Mercy McAuley 4-1 in a Division I sectional final at Lakota East, improving their record to 10-6-2.
“Just being out there tonight with my team and never giving up … they made the opportunities for me,” Grubbs said. “We always work together as a team, and that is how we got to where we are now. I couldn’t be happier for myself and my team.”
West advances to a district championship match against unbeaten Beavercreek (19-0) at 7 p.m. on Saturday at East. McAuley (14-3-1) watched its 11-match winning streak come to an end.
“It was a great team win tonight,” said Firebirds senior captain Sophia Denison, who collected a pair of assists. “We have a long week of practice ahead of us to make it to the district finals on Saturday, so we need to continue to connect better and play quicker.”
West started quickly and generated scoring chances early and often Tuesday. In the first 10 minutes, the Firebirds hit the crossbar and were robbed on a scoring chance by Wolves goalkeeper Emily Merz. LWHS had 13 shots (nine on goal) in the first half.
The Firebirds found the back of the net in the 21st minute when junior Maya Martir scored on a nice give-and-go inside the 18-yard box. They would add a second goal in the 36th minute when Grubbs capitalized on a loose ball scramble inside the box. It was 2-0 at halftime.
West continued to roll in the second half. Controlling the midfield possession and limiting McAuley’s scoring chances. sophomore Brooke Brockman added the Firebirds’ third goal with a well-struck shot from 25 yards out that Merz had slip through her hands.
The Wolves cut the deficit to 3-1 on a goal by senior forward Emily Dillman, but Grubbs responded by scoring on a shot from the top of the box.
“Great team win tonight,” West coach Brigit Reder said. “Coming off Saturday (a 3-0 win over Turpin), we had a mind-set of high energy and high tempo from top to bottom, from coming off the bench to the starters, and they brought exactly that. They brought it for 80 minutes and that reflected on the scoreboard. We celebrate tonight and enjoy it, but we’re definitely now looking forward to Saturday.”
The Firebirds outshot McAuley 19-8, and 11 of those shots were on goal. West also had a 4-1 edge in corner kicks.
“We were just talking over there that we started the year 3-2-1 and then won 11 games in a row. They just banded together for a new school to start off the way they did,” Wolves coach Mike Rust said. “I told the seniors this year that they had set a tradition and set that bar really high. Very proud of them tonight. Lakota West played very well. We played them on their best night … they were awesome. That doesn’t take away how I feel about these girls.”
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