MINFORD — All that mattered on Monday for the Minford Lady Falcons was to survive — and advance.
The third-seeded Lady Falcons found the back of the net twice, and pitched a 2-0 shutout on the girls soccer pitch against the visiting South Point Pointers in a Division III sectional semifinal match.
With the victory, the Lady Falcons evened their record to 8-8-0, and more importantly, advanced to Thursday’s sectional championship tilt at Lynchburg-Clay.
Kickoff at Lynchburg-Clay is set for 5 p.m.
The second-seeded Lady Mustangs had no trouble with Northwest, blanking the visiting Mohawks 9-0 in another sectional semifinal.
Minford, meanwhile, had a tougher test with the determined visiting Lady Pointers.
Still, as Minford coach Shane Tieman mentioned, the tournament trail is all about having one more goal than the opponent — and moving on.
“In the first half, we were in position, but our intensity just wasn’t there. I told the girls at halftime that there really wasn’t anything in play or formation we needed to change, we just needed to turn it up a couple notches. In the second half, the movement of the ball was very good, we started attacking the corners a little more, going to the sides,” he said. “We had to go away from their goalie to create the play, because in the first half she was a real speed-demon and was getting to everything. We started doing that by moving the ball around much better in the second half.”
After a scoreless first half, the Falcons broke through only a minute and 48 seconds into the second, as freshman Haley Knore knocked in a goal off an Amy Shoemaker assist.
With 17-and-a-half minutes remaining, Minford made it 2-0 — when senior Hannah Tolle boomed about a 30-yard blast over the top of South Point goalkeeper Emily Byrd.
Like Shoemaker, fellow senior Ali Brumfield’s pass set up Tolle’s goal.
With two goals in the bag, the Falcon defense dominated throughout — as senior keeper Makayla Watters only had to make one save.
“We had a good defensive effort. Everybody played their position very well. They had some faster people, but we handled them tonight. Good communication in the center between the stopper and the sweeper. Just good team defense,” said Tieman.
Byrd saved eight shots for the sixth-seeded Lady Pointers, which ended their season at 4-12-1.
Minford, meanwhile, moves on to face the Lady Mustangs — for the right to survive and advance once again.
“We usually run into Lynchburg-Clay at the district. But this year, we get them a game early,” said Tieman. “They’ve always been a strong program. They are a very solid passing and possession-oriented offense. But we’re ready for that. We’ll play our best and see what happens.”
Regardless of what happens on Thursday, the Lady Falcons’ Senior Night is set for next Tuesday (Oct. 22) — as Minford makes up its regular-season and Southern Ohio Conference finale against Ironton St. Joseph.
* * *
South Point 0 0 — 0
Minford 0 2 — 2
M — Haley Knore (Amy Shoemaker assist), 38:12, 2nd (1-0 M)
M — Hannah Tolle (Ali Brumfield assist), 17:29, 2nd (2-0 M)
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