Perhaps it was fate that Tates Creek eked out a victory over Scott County in Tuesday's 26th District girls' soccer tournament semifinals at Henry Clay.
For sure, though, it was Destinie.
Destinie Graves scored the only goal in Creek's 1-0 victory.
In the opener, No. 11 Henry Clay dominated Sayre from the start and romped 6-0.
Tates Creek and Henry Clay will meet for the district title Thursday night at 7. Both teams will advance to regional play.
Creek edged Henry Clay 1-0 on Sept. 28.
Tates Creek 1, Scott County 0: A physical, evenly matched game had few good scoring chances until Graves converted with 15:05 left.
The 10th-ranked Lady Commodores (13-6-3) made the most of their third and final corner kick of the night.
Megan Poge sent the ball into the goal box and Graves headed the ball into the net for her team-leading 17th goal. Poge notched her team-best 11th assist.
"We've talked about trying to keep that ball in tight, and Megan did a great job," Coach Bo Lankster said. "She's served a lot of great balls all year long, and Destinie made a very good play to get her head on it and finish. That's what she does for us."
No. 22 Scott County (11-6-1) beat Creek on penalty kicks early in the season. But both teams were missing several starters that night, including Creek's Graves.
"I thought Scott County was a top 10 team all year long," Lankster said. "I can't think of any other matchup in the state, in the district semifinals, two teams that are this good playing each other. It showed a lot of character on our part to stay in there."
Andrea "Bug" Brown, coach of the Lady Cardinals, said Lankster "has a really good team. But I thought our girls fought tooth-and-nail and, to be honest with you, in spurts we outplayed them. It's just unfortunate that we didn't put the ball in the back of the net before they did."
Creek goalie Arly Lankster had seven saves. Just as key was the wall of defenders in front of her, led by Kayla Willis. The ball booms off her foot, and Willis takes nearly every free kick for her team.
"We practice that a lot, those free kicks that I take, and I really got it down, so I'm happy about that," the senior said.
Does Creek have anything left in the tank for Henry Clay?
"Of course," Willis said. "We're pretty evenly matched teams, so it should be a good game."
Henry Clay 6, Sayre 0: Olivia Max and Lyndsay Elsen each scored twice.
The Lady Blue Devils (11-3-3) scored three times in the first 10½ minutes and shifted into cruise control.
Max started the spree from the arc at the 18-yard line, 2½ minutes in.
"I thought we did good," said Max, a senior. "I feel like it will be good for Thursday."
Caroline Kaplan cleaned up a corner kick 8½ minutes in to make it 2-0.
Elsen, a sophomore, was next at about 10 minutes played, from the 18. She got another goal from a bit farther out for a 4-0 halftime lead.
Max and Mary Ford Rodes scored in the second half.
"We've made it (to region) all four years I've been here," Max said. "Hopefully we go further than last year — I don't know, all the way."
Sayre (6-12-1) was unable to get a shot against Kate Dishion, who tended goal for the first 60 minutes, and Ally Barfield, who finished.
Sayre reached the semifinals by downing Bryan Station 7-1 Monday.
"Sayre, they're playing short, so we did our best the first half," Devils Coach Mebit Aragaw said. "At the same time, we knew that they played (Monday) night and they gave it (their) all. We did our best and we tried to keep it respectable."
Henry Clay 6, Sayre 0
Goals — HC: Olivia Max 2, Caroline Kaplan, Lyndsay Elsen 2, Mary Ford Rodes. Goalkeepers — S: Emma Johnson; HC: Kate Dishion and Ally Barfield. Records — Sayre 6-12-1; Henry Clay 11-3-3.
Tates Creek 1, Scott County 0
Goal — TC: Destinie Graves. Goalkeepers — SC: Michelle Washburn; TC: Arly Lankster. Records — Scott Co. 11-6-1; Tates Creek 13-6-3.