Golden Goal in Double OT Lifts Lady Leopards to 1st Ever Sectional Title
FULL VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
Louisville 2, North Canton 1, 2OT
Rachel Baughman scored off of Sami Keefe’s lead pass with 11:47 left in double overtime to lift the Lady Leopards past host North Canton Hoover 2-1. Thursday’s Sudden Death Golden Goal gave Louisville their first ever Girls Soccer Sectional Championship in their 10 year history.
While the two teams played to a stalemate from halftime until Baughman’s goal, the Vikings wasted no time in getting on the board early. Hoover’s Lindsey Fisher scored the first goal just 3:23 into the contest. In the past this would have crushed the spirit of the Leopards as it had the previous six times the two teams had met. But this Louisville team was different, this Louisville team re-wrote history all year long, and this team was about to do it again.
For the next 93:50 of game time the Lady Leopards defense clamped down to shutout the Vikings. Louisville hustled all night long on the defensive end to make North Canton’s first goal a distant memory. Becca Springman had several nice saves in goal, while Jessica Hamsher, Sarah Jaroszyk, Keefe, Kelly Miller, Lizz Stefanik, Tara Stevens, and others sacrificed their bodies to bottle up the Hoover offense all night long.
Louisville also answered back on the offensive end at the 27:30 mark of the first half. Jaroszyk threw in a pass down the right sideline to Baughman. Baughman kicked the ball towards the right post and Lizzy Mont booted the ball into the net for her third score of the tournament. The Leopards offense had several other opportunities to score late in the second half, but a questionable offsides call as well as several saves by the Hoover goalkeeper kept the game knotted at 1-1.
Both teams had chances to score in the second half, but neither could find the net. Both in the second half and in the first overtime, the Vikings had wide open chip-shots that missed the net by a few feet. Louisville also had a few chances inside the goal box, but could not quite pluck it past the Hoover goalie.
Finally, in the second overtime Keefe passed the ball ahead from midfield to a sprinting Baughman. The Sophomore Forward broke free of the Viking defenders and dribbled past the outstretched hands of the diving North Canton goalie. Baughman leaped over the goalie to avoid a collision, but her final dribble carried enough momentum to cross the goal line and send the Lady Leopards into celebration. In just the second overtime game in Louisville Girls Soccer History (2006 Vs. Canfield W 2-1) the Lady Leopards celebrated their only ever Sectional Title.
Louisville is now 1-6 all-time against Hoover in girls soccer and this marks the first time a Louisville Girls Athletic team has defeated North Canton in a tournament game since Girls Basketball beat Hoover 50-48 in the Sectional Semifinals on February 26, 1981 at Jackson High School. Louisville is now 15-2-1 on the season and will travel to face those top-seeded Jackson Polar Bears in the District Semifinals on Tuesday, October 23 at 7:00 PM. Jackson defeated Perry in their Sectional Final game 9-0 Thursday as well.
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UP NEXT: The Lady Leopards will next travel to Jackson to take on the Polar Bears in the District Semifinals on Tuesday, October 23 at 7:00 PM.