The Seymour girls soccer team won’t be denied a chance in the title fight.
In the Columbus North Sectional semifinals, The Owls offense outshot Madison 32-0, tallying three goals in a dominating shutout victory to advance to Saturday’s championship game against Columbus East.
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From the starting whistle, the Owls peppered the Cubs’ goal, notching 12 shots in the first 30 minutes of play.
To the Owls’ dismay, Cubs senior goalkeeper Annie Marsh denied any scores by tallying 10 saves in the span.
With 2:27 left in the first half, Owls senior Maria Cerda slid a shot past Marsh from 12 yards — off a feed from junior Katie O’Mara — to take the 1-0 advantage.
The goal ended the Owls’ frustrations of not getting a score on a plethora of shots.
“We came out and were connecting with the ball,” Owls coach Greg Musser said. “I think we got a little too passive, we were trying to connect one-twos in the box when we had a wide-open shot. Getting that first goal relieved some of that pressure at halftime. I thought there was some pressure on the girls and we responded really well.”
After intermission, the Owls extended their lead when junior Andrea Ferrer slammed shot to the left post off a cross from Cerda with 30:10 remaining in the game.
At the 15:55 mark, Owls junior Marie Lenart connected on a shot from 10 yards in part of an assist by senior Elizabeth Davis to take the 3-0 lead.
The Cubs had little to no chances on the night in part because of the strong play by the Owls’ midfield.
“The times they got it towards our back line was either a long through ball or a lazy pass by us in the midfield,” Musser said. “We controlled the ball in the middle very well in the second half after settling down. There was about a 15 minutes stretch where I thought we lost the middle, but once we gained our composure again we were passing the ball and they didn’t have an answer.”
In the later game Thursday night, East defeated Columbus North 2-0.
“I’m excited, the girls are pumped,” Musser said. “We had a great game against East (on) Thursday, a week ago. I think it gave us a lot of confidence. The Columbus schools have had an allure about them and we went out there toe-to-toe. I’m excited for what can happen, we’re ready to play and have confidence.”
The last time the Owls won a sectional championship was in 1997.
“We keep telling the girls we need to take that next step — if we want to be one of the premier teams we need to compete hard the entire time,” Musser said. We’ve had a tendency all year of saying ‘hey we got the goal’ and then step back. Today was nice because we kept pressure and dominating play. They didn’t get any shots on net. If you can hold any team to no shots you’ve done a good job possessing the ball and controlling play.”