A stout Swanton Defense and the inability for Continental to find the center of the net pretty much summed up the OHSAA Division III Napoleon District Sectional Final held at Continental on Saturday afternoon.
A stiff breeze from the West played havoc with offensive sets for both teams and set up the first goal of the game. A Pirate foul near the West sideline about 20 yards out was lofted in the air by Swanton and the ball went over the Pirate goalie’s head and off her hands into the back of the net. Swanton 1, Continental 0, 8:40 into the game. The Pirates would have 2 chances to tie the game within 1 minute as a Pirate centering play resulted in a shot that was touched out by the Bulldog goalie at the 23:20 mark. At 22:30 a Pirate cross which resulted in a shot again was punched out by the Bulldog goalie. So it wasn’t as if the Pirates were without opportunities to score. The game appeared to take a turn when Pirate leading scorer Alex Hoeffel was helped from the field. Bulldogs 1, Pirate 0 half.
The second half had Hoeffel on the bench getting her ankle taped but she did return to game shortly after half. 10 minutes into the second half another Pirate shot was saved wide by the Bulldog goalie. The Pirates would put in the equalized with 28:36 left in the half as Katie Keller was dragged down in the penalty area and the Pirates were awarded a Penalty kick. Hoeffel mad thee kick to make it 1 all. The Pirates had a chance to take the lead with 18:40 left when they had a number of attempts at the goal off a corner kick that ended up with a shot wide of the goal. The Bulldogs would take the lead with 10 minutes left in the game when a shot between Pirate defenders hit the back of the net for a 2-1 Swanton advantage. The Pirates would have a couple of chances to tie the game but the Bulldog defense would prevail. Swanton 2, Continental 1, final.
Continental, seeded #3, finishes the season at 11-5-1. Swanton, seeded #5, improves to 8-5-4 and will take on #1 seed Liberty Center in District Finals at Napoleon.
The Pirates finished the year as co-Putnam County League Champs. Congratulation and best wishes for the future go out to Seniors Riley Fenter, Brooke Davis, Emily Rose, Sierra Prowant, Angel Brzozoski, and Kaitlyn Bibler.
–Mike Jones, Sportswriter