Lions advance with win

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Minerva is headed back to the district tournament.

The Minerva girls’ soccer team scored a 4-2 victory over Carrollton in an Ohio Division II Eastern District Sectional co-final Saturday afternoon at Red Devil Stadium.

“It feels really good,” Minerva (10-5-3) head coach Nicole Chaddock said. “The kids have worked really hard. We started back in December working on foot skills. We are an inexperienced team.”

Minerva will play Beaver Local in the Eastern District semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday on the same turf. Beaver Local advanced to the district tournament by defeating Edison, 1-0, in Saturday’s first co-final.

Josie Chaddock contributed two goals to lead the way offensively for the Lions.

Also, Amanda Burchett and Harriet Whitsel each tallied a goal, while Lauren Haynman added an assist.

Goalie Caitlin Rodgers made six saves in goal for the Lions.

The Warriors defeated the Lions, 4-1, late in the regular season.

“We played our game today,” coach Chaddock said. “We didn’t play their game. We didn’t kick and run. We played more under control. We passed the ball on the ground.

“That made the difference in the game. We passed the ball. We stayed under control.”

The match was played under less than ideal conditions. It was cold, windy and rainy by the time the teams took the pitch following the Beaver-Wildcat match.

“The rain makes it slippery,” coach Chaddock said. “It is tough when it is wet. I was nervous about the goalkeepers. One little slip could have made the difference.”

Minerva defeated Beaver Local, 2-0, during the regular season.

“It was a good game,” coach Chaddock said. “Old stats don’t matter. It is a new game.”

The win over the Warriors gave the Lions their second-straight sectional title. Beaver Local has won three-straight sectional titles. The difference is that the Beavers defeated the Lions, 6-1, in the co-final back in 2011 at St. Clairsville.

“They are always tough,” coach Chaddock said about the Beavers.