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Published: Sunday, 11/4/2012

Perrysburg girls soccer dream season keeps going with first berth in state final four

BY RYAN AUTULLO
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Perrysburg's Maddy Williams moves the ball against  Medina's Holly Rhodes (9) and Brianna Caccavale (25) during the Division II regional soccer final Saturday in Sandusky, Ohio. Perrysburg's Maddy Williams moves the ball against Medina's Holly Rhodes (9) and Brianna Caccavale (25) during the Division II regional soccer final Saturday in Sandusky, Ohio.
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SANDUSKY — One streak is over. A more important streak remains in tact.

Maddy Williams did not score a goal for the first time in her remarkable senior year, but her Perrysburg teammates stepped up to keep this dream season ticking, lifting the program to its first berth in the state final four.

Allex Brown and Lucy Walton tallied goals, and the Yellow Jackets defense proved impenetrable in a 2-0 decision against ninth-ranked Medina on Saturday in a Division I regional final at Strobel Field.

PHOTO GALLERY: Perrysburg defeats Medina

Top-ranked and unbeaten Perrysburg advanced to a semifinal meeting Tuesday against defending state champion Strongsville. The second-ranked Mustangs prevailed 4-1 over Solon.

"Hopefully we’ll be able to play them and we’ll see what happens," Perrysburg coach Jorge Diaz said before knowing the result of the other final.

"Right now, we’re going to enjoy the moment."

Perrysburg, which has outscored its opponents this year by an unthinkable 105-5 ledger, was held scoreless in the first half after failing to cash in on a bevy of decent opportunities.

Brown missed by a foot or two trying to squeeze the ball in the bottom left corner of the net, and Williams misfired on one of her best looks of the day. The Yellow Jackets had controlled all facets of the game but were stonewalled on the scoreboard.

At halftime, Brown said Diaz told the team that it was only a matter of time before they converted.

"We’re a team that is able to get the ball in the back of the net, and we are a team that knows how to finish," Brown said.

Perrysburg, which had never advanced past the regional semifinals before beating Anthony Wayne last week, moved to 21-0-0.

Brown put her team on the board in the 46th minute after receiving a pinpoint feed from Mollie Whitacre.

Behind a suffocating defense, a lead of 1-0 — as precarious as it might be — seemed decisive.

Medina (9-6-2) posed little threat to tie the game before Perrysburg cemented the win with 31 seconds left on Walton’s goal.

The Purdue-bound Williams assisted on the strike.

"Our offense gets a lot of recognition because it’s been so great, but our defense has done a great job," co-coach Margaret Bernard said. "They really are a tough defense to get through. If you get by one, there’s somebody else there."

Medina coach Doug Coreno said he doesn’t believe his team did anything wrong, but that Perrysburg, which he praised as well organized and well coached, was simply better.

Coreno’s squad has played Strongsville and Dublin Coffman, both of which are ranked No. 2 in the state, and he believes Perrysburg is at or above their level.

"I’d say they’re definitely as good as anyone in the state, and they have as good of a shot as anybody to win state," Coreno said.

Contact Ryan Autullo at: rautullo@theblade.com, 419-724-6160 or on Twitter @AutulloBlade.



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