July 24, 2016

Partly cloudy

Maura Gorman’s entry ball leads to own goal

MEDINA — Maura Gorman’s job is typically a simple one. Feed the ball to the box from the outside of the pitch and set up scoring opportunities.

She won’t get official credit for the goal, but a ball delivered by the Medina senior found its way into the net off a deflection from a defender Saturday afternoon.

Medina’s Jillian Graff attempts a shot around Copley's Lexi Gruich (12) and Emma Fish during the second half. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY RON SCHWANE)

Medina’s Jillian Graff attempts a shot around Copley's Lexi Gruich (12) and Emma Fish during the second half. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY RON SCHWANE)

The score proved to be a back breaker for Copley and enough to help Medina advance with a 2-0 Brunswick Division I Sectional final win.

“I always try to get crosses off when I’m on the flank,” Gorman said. “That’s kind of my job.”

Medina (13-2-3) will play Strongsville, which beat Wadsworth 5-0, in a district semifinal Wednesday. Copley finished its season 9-7-2.

Little did Gorman know one of her every-day plays would lead to a goal six minutes in against the upset-minded Indians.

Gorman sent a cross into the box and, in the mad rush for the ball, a Copley defender got a head on it, which caught goalkeeper Hannah Seeman off guard and went in for an own goal.

“When I cut back, I knew that there were girls in there because I could hear them all yelling for me to cross it,” Gor­man said. “When I played it in there, I thought one of my girls was going to get there.

“A goal’s a goal. I don’t really care who touched it. If it goes in the net, it works for me.”

In hockey, the score would be credited to the last offensive player with a touch, but in soc­cer it’s considered an own goal. “It was created by a good set­up, a good cross, then good pressure from our forwards,” Medina coach Doug Coreno said. “Our work-rate and our play caused the own goal, so I was happy to get on the board early. That always helps.”

One of those players causing the pressure was junior Beth Lang, who scored a much ­needed insurance goal with 12:33 left.

A ball was fired to the front of the net by Jillian Graff and headed to the right of the box by Nicolle Varney, where Lang headed it past Seeman (5 saves). “Jill took it all the way down and crossed it and Varn got her head on it in a weird way and it was just coming right at me,” Lang said. “It was like slow motion and I just headed it into the back corner.”

The Bees outshot Copley 14-5, including 8-2 in shots on goal. While Medina would have liked to have connected on a few more tries, Coreno and his team were excited to advance and set up the rematch with Strongsville.

“We had a lot of good chances,” he said. “I would’ve liked to have seen us put a cou­ple more away, but we got two and that’s what it took to win tonight. So I’m very happy.”

Contact Dan Brown at sports@medina-gazette.com.