High School Sports

Defending champ Tates Creek falls to Notre Dame in state semifinals

Tates Creek's Mallory Eubanks, left, and Notre Dame's Libby Greenwell collided at the ball. Eubanks' shot on goal was the Commodores' best scoring chance.
Tates Creek's Mallory Eubanks, left, and Notre Dame's Libby Greenwell collided at the ball. Eubanks' shot on goal was the Commodores' best scoring chance. Herald-Leader

No repeat for Tates Creek.

No. 4-ranked Notre Dame, the team Creek beat to win last year's Girls' State Soccer Tournament, turned the tables and beat the No. 2 Lady Commodores 1-0 in the State semifinals Thursday night at Paul Dunbar.

So the Pandas will advance to the finals for the third year in a row, looking to win as they did in 2011. Notre Dame also won in 2004.

In Thursday's first semifinal, a matchup of unbeaten teams, top-ranked Sacred Heart blanked No. 5 Oldham County 3-0.

Sacred Heart is a four-time state champion, most recently in 2009.

Finals are set for Saturday at 7 p.m.

Notre Dame 1, Tates Creek 0: The lone goal came with 33:47 left in the match.

Carissa Dyer banged a shot off the crossbar.

Christin Sherrard, a freshman, was there to collect the rebound and finish.

"All I thought when it hit off the crossbar was get it in the net," Sherrard said.

"When it's in the air, you have to stay calm to make sure you don't hit it straight up."

Tates Creek (21-5-3) had several chances, the best of which may have been in the opening minutes.

Mallory Eubanks broke in on the right wing but had her shot snuffed by goalkeeper Courtney Hansel.

"The fact that we have gotten to this point two years in a row says a lot about our girls," Commodores Coach Bo Lankster said. "Our effort tonight was unbelievable. I feel like we played a great game.

"Give Notre Dame credit. They had a ball that found the bar and came back into play, and that was the difference in the game."

The Pandas exulted in the victory.

"This is the most excited I've seen them all year," Coach Sara McSorley said, "just because I think they respect Tates Creek and the season they've had, so we knew it was going to be a tough game. Obviously avenging that loss last year was part of it, but they really were just looking to advance to the finals."

The Pandas will take a 23-2-3 record into Saturday's match.

"The key is to play how we've been playing in the State Tournament," Sherrard said. "We've been possessing well. We need to possess and finish."

Sacred Heart 3, Oldham Co. 0: The Valkyries (23-0-3) broke open a scoreless game with two goals in a span of 28 seconds midway through the second half.

"It was intense," said Caroline Wistrom, who opened the scoring with 26:12 left. "The intensity never dropped. It was tough and we all just went for it."

Lauryn Westman triggered the play with a through ball, sending Wistrom one-on-one in the penalty box.

"Westman passed to me and it was just enough distance between the defender and me, and I just hit it across and had the right angle to slide it in," Wistrom said.

Twenty-eight seconds later, Annie Hieronimus scored from about 25 yards out to make it 2-0.

It was a familiar 1-2 punch for the Valkyries.

"I think it's just something they've recognized," Coach Jaclyn Puntillo said of her team's season-long knack for quick consecutive strikes. "We talk a lot about numbers because it helps them get confidence. Even though we were tied at half, they know that we score twice as many goals in the second half. And that once we get one, we're more likely to get one in the next five minutes.

"They have a collective GPA of 3.88 and definitely a lot of their game is here," Puntillo said, pointing to her temple.

Sacred Heart added a goal by Westman with 4:18 left, when she picked off a short goal kick and took the ball back to the net.

"Oldham County has two of the best players we've faced all season in Haley Kemper and Shelby Cohen," Puntillo said. "And it took everything we had to contain the middle, but I thought Lauren Haas and Cat Fell did an excellent job marking them and just wearing them down a little bit."

The Lady Colonels (23-1-1) allowed only 13 goals all season, scoring 92. Sacred Heart has outscored its foes 132-12.

Sacred Heart 3, Oldham County 0

GoalsSH: Caroline Wistrom, Annie Heironimus, Lauryn Westman. GoalkeepersOC: Brianna Leary; SH: Sarah Stodghill. RecordsOC: 23-1-1; SH: 23-0-3.

Notre Dame 1, Tates Creek 0

GoalsND: Christin Sherrard. GoalkeepersND: Courtney Hansel; TC: Hannah Kardos. RecordsND: 23-2-3; TC: 21-5-3.