SCHUYLERVILLE - The top seeded Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Lady Wolves battled through wet conditions Thursday to secure a 2-0 victory over the Bolton Lady Eagles and advance to the Section II Class D championship game.
With the rain failing to cease for the entire 80 minutes of play, the Lady Wolves were able to use their superior speed to traverse the damp turf. OESJ launched the first shot of the game, a deep strike off the foot of Addie Brundage that settled into the hands of the Bolton goalkeeper. Brundage decided to again try her luck from long distance about 13 minutes later. The shot was lofted high into the air and nestled softly into the top left-hand corner of the goal to give OESJ a 1-0 lead.
The Lady Wolves outperformed the Lady Eagles offensively in the half despite putting just six shots on goal. The OESJ defense held Bolton to only two shots in the first 40 minutes.
Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville’s Addie Brundige (15) pushes the ball past a Bolton Landing defender during Thursday’s Section II Class D semifinal match at Schuylerville High School. (The Leader-Herald/Shaun Anich)
Bolton's best chance of the half came with 13 minutes remaining when a pass went long across the box and harmlessly into the arms of waiting OESJ goalkeeper Leann Clark.
The Lady Wolves extended their lead with 10:23 remaining. Tabea Salzmann collected a ball that was carelessly kicked right to her by the Bolton goalkeeper. Salzmann buried the ensuing shot from close range.
The Lady Eagles were able to put some pressure on the OESJ defense late in the half but couldn't get off a successful shot in the final 15 minutes.
As the rain came down harder as the second half of action pressed on, OESJ fell back into more of a defensive-minded mode. Bolton squandered three goal-scoring chances in the box with 26 minutes remaining in the game, but neither team managed an actual shot on goal until Bolton directed a ball into the arms of Clark with 12 minutes left. Salzmann spent much of the half on the OESJ sideline due to an injury, but returned late in the half to recharge the Lady Wolves' offense. OESJ got six shots off in the final 10 minutes before time ran out.
Overall, the Lady Wolves outshot the Lady Eagles 13-4 in the win. Clark registered three saves for OESJ.
The Class D championship game will be played on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. at Stillwater High School. OESJ will battle the Fort Ann Lady Cardinals for the title. The second-seeded Lady Cardinals picked up a 3-2 overtime win over New Lebanon to earn their spot in the finals.