STRONGSVILLE–Chagrin Falls had its state title run cut short as Madison Comprehensive’s Ashleigh Bechtel found the back of the net off a deflection giving the Rams a 1-0 overtime win in a Division II state semifinal game on Tuesday at Strongsville High School.
The Tigers’ defense, led by sophomore Sarah Burgess and junior goalkeeper Aerin Krebs, played an aggressive game and kept the Rams’ high-power offense in check throughout regulation.
“I thought the team’s effort was amazing,” Burgess said after the game. “I thought we gave it our all. I thought we held our own and I thought we played really well.”
Madison looked to strike early in the first half, but a free-kick sailed over the goal and through the uprights keeping it a scoreless game.
Chagrin Falls played a strong defensive half, highlighted by a stretch where the Tigers held on three consecutive corner kicks.
The Tigers were able to muster a few shots on goal throughout the half but could not get anything past the Rams goalkeeper as the teams went into the half tied 0-0.
“Definitely their forward [Taylor] Huff,” Burgess said about the challenges the Rams’ presented for them. “She faced a really good challenge on defense. She has amazing foot skills. Their defense is really good. They kept really compact and it was really hard to get inside the box.”
Both teams came out aggressive in the second half as each team had a shot on goal within the first five minutes of the half.
The Tigers defense played a much more physical second half, making life difficult for the Rams’ offense.
The Rams’ dominated possession of the ball for most of the half, but strong goalkeeping from Krebs kept them from scoring and forced a sudden-death overtime.
Madison ended the game in the 85th minute when Bechtel punched in a deflected shot. This was just the 14th goal the Tigers had allowed all season.
“I thought this season was amazing,” Burgess said. “I love this team so much. They are so supportive and I loved playing with them this year.”
The Tigers finish their stellar season with a record of 18-3-1.