Thursday’s Division II girls’ soccer sectional final game between Norwalk and Perkins at Firelands Regional Medical Center Stadium felt a lot like Wednesday’s boys game between the two schools.
The Truckers scored early, added a goal late in the first half to take a 2-0 lead into halftime, then came out flying in the second half to finish 6-0.
Just like the boys.
“We talked at halftime and realized we could do a little bit better,” Norwalk coach James Igneczi said. “We came out and took some shots and two minutes into the second half we had two goals. It’s unfortunate for them, because it is a wet field, so their goalie did make a couple good saves, but just couldn’t hang onto the ball. But that's how it goes sometimes.”
In the first half, Megan Casselberry scored first just under six minutes into the game.
Laurel Campbell played her through behind the Pirates' defense and Casselberry put the ball away.
Norwalk continued to knock on the door throughout the entire first half, but Perkins keeper Haylee Darr kept the Pirates in the game.
“She’s amazing,” Perkins coach Ashlie Gowitzka said. “Haylee Darr is like our savior out there, she’s absolutely amazing.”
Quinn Walton started the Norwalk shooting barrage with a strike ten minutes in that Darr saved, bobbled and recovered as Walton slid in to try and finish.
With around 15 minutes left, Darr saved shots from Casselberry and then Hannah Whidden to keep the score at 1-0.
However, with just over four minutes left, Casselberry found Summerlee Bigler on a cross to take a 2-0 lead into halftime.
“I wasn’t sure how we would come out and play on the turf, especially because it was raining before our game and during our game, but I’m pleased with how we played,” Igneczi said. “We scored 10 minutes into the game, so I’m happy with how we started and I’m happy with how we ended. There’s not really anything I can say that I’m upset about. It was a good game.”
In the second half, Campbell increased the Truckers' lead less than a minute into play as she got loose around the top of the box.
The Truckers found the net again 10 minutes later, as Campbell finished a rebounded shot from Walton.
Less than a minute later, Campbell scored a goal from distance that slipped through put Norwalk up 5-0.
The Pirates had a pair of chances with 25 minutes left as Kasi Didion sent one over and Kallie Schlottag played one in to Norwalk keeper Kaitlyn Gilson.
The sixth goal was scored off a deflection midway through the half.
“Obviously we didn't have the outcome that we wanted, but our girls played tough and it was a good last game for our seniors,” Gowitzka said. “It was a good way to end the season even though it wasn’t what we had hoped for. The girls did a lot of learning (this season). Overall, I think a much better team than we had last year, attitude-wise, skill-wise, but we just couldn’t find the back of the net. So we know what we need to work on for next year.”
The Pirates end the season with a 2-12-3 record.
Norwalk improves to 5-10-2 and goes on to play the Saturday’s Ontario-Lexington winner in a district semifinal at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Ashland.
“Either one will be a tough game,” Igneczi said. "Ontario is… Ontario. They were state runners-up last year, they could do it again this year and Lexington's coming off a really good few games. No matter which team we play, we're going to come out and play hard.”