GATES MILLS—A second half goal led Gilmour Academy past Kirtland in Monday’s Division III district semifinal at Weber Stadium.
Kirtland, which ended its season at 12-5-2, worked hard in the first half to keep the game scoreless but gave up a goal early in the second half and never recovered.
“We told the girls it was going to be a close game. Odds are it was going to be a 1-0 score and we definitely played that out,” said Kirtland coach Ed Bradac. “I’m not surprised in the result. Obviously, I would have loved to be on the other side of that 1-0 score.”
Gilmour had several shots on goal in the first 40 minutes but Kirtland’s Maddie Zuberer made save after save to keep the Hornets in the game. The Lancers failed to convert on four corner kicks and the Hornets had two shots on goal miss the net.
The Lancers took advantage of an early second half scoring opportunity to take the 1-0 lead.
Kelly Davis of Solon finished off an assist from Sarah Potratz of Chesterland by burying the ball into the right corner of the goal to break the scoreless tie. It was the first goal scored in regulation in a game between Kirtland in Gilmour in three straight games.
After that the Hornets struggled to generate an attack.
“We still stayed in our 3-4-3,” Bradac said. “We thought that if we were able to possess, keep the ball and hold the ball up top and have some patience we would be fine. We didn’t play with a lot of patience. I think we played panicked at times.”
Gilmour stayed on the attack in the second half and would have blown the game open had it not been for Zuberer.
The Kirtland junior made a diving save with 16:01 left in the game and then had another punch save with just over five minutes left to play.
“She by far is one of the best keepers in Northeastern Ohio year in and year out,” Bradac said. “She’s an All-Ohio caliber goalie. Their coach came over and said your keeper did an amazing job. She kept us in the game and we know that coming into every game we have a chance to win because of our goalkeeper and because of our defense.”
Gilmour keeper Michelle Porter of Mentor recorded a clean sheet for the Lancers.