Lady Riders fight hard for win

Aerial Fast (left) and Krista Ruppert of St. Marys advance the ball toward the Maumee net during the first half of Tuesday’s regional semifinal. Fast had two goals and Ruppert one in the 3-0 win.

BOWLING GREEN — It’s now a baker’s dozen.

The St. Marys Lady Roughriders posted their 13th shutout of the season as they defeated Maumee 3-0 in a Division II regional semifinal on Tuesday night.

The win moves them one step closer to the ultimate goal of a state title. Next up is the Region 6 final on Saturday against Copley, which defeated Lexington 8-1 in the other semifinal.

Penalty kicks played a factor in Tuesday’s win, though the Lady Riders didn’t have to wait as long as against Liberty-Benton.

Aerial Fast and Krista Ruppert each converted on opportunities in the first half for a 2-0 lead.

Fast then added an insurance goal 6 1/2 minutes into the second half, and the defense handled things from there.

Coach Nick Wilson said that “you never know what’s going to happen” in the postseason.

He praised the play of Fast and keeper Ella Jacobs, along with the back line of Amelia Ankerman, Gabby Keller and Lauren Jacobs. Jacobs made four saves in the contest.

Morgan Hesse and Reese Rable had assists on Fast’s second goal.

Fast had a shot early on the left edge. With 31:59 to play, a Maumee player was given a yellow card.

A few minutes later, Fast drove toward the net. Her shot was deflected by a sliding Maumee defender.

After a couple more scoring opportunities, Fast was tripped in front of the net, becoming tangled up with Panthers keeper Haley Hughes.

Hughes received a yellow card and had to go to the sidelines. The backup keeper faced off with Fast.

The shot was to the lower edge,

but was turned away.

With 10 1/2 minutes to play, Maumee made a charge, and Jacobs came out to cover it and prevent any further chance.

Around the eightminute mark, Fast had a direct kick from 10 yards out. This time the ball went off the hands of Hughes and into the net for the 1-0 lead.

St. Marys kept up the steady pressure on the Panthers’ side of the field.

At 4:59, Ruppert was awarded a penalty kick. Ruppert, who was one of those who scored during the game-ending shootout on Saturday, found success again making it a two-score lead.

After the intermission, Fast and Hesse each had scoring chances in the early going.

Jillian Tomberlin received a yellow card a couple minutes later. The ensuing free kick led to a header by Maumee’s Evelyn Boyett, but Jacobs was there for the save.

St. Marys drove down the field and Fast scored on a rebound with 33:32 to play.

Maumee had a breakaway chance with about 11 minutes to go, with Jacobs preserving the shutout.

St. Marys sent one off the post with seven minutes to go, then killed off the remaining time for the win.

St. Marys and Copley will meet at 1 p.m. Saturday back at Bowling Green High School.

The winner advances to the state semifinals against the Region 5 winner.The other Region 6 semifinal will be Copley against Lexington. It will be played at Wooster High School.

In 2020, St. Marys won 1-0 over Bath in a shootout in the district final. They defeated Lake Catholic 3-2 in overtime in the regional semis before losing to eventual state champion Madison Comprehensive.

The Lady Roughriders have reached the state semifinals once before, in 2009, losing to Hathaway Brown 2-1.