MEDINA — Don’t allow the 14-5 score be deceiving because Medina had a battle on its hand Monday in the Ohio Schoolgirl Lacrosse Association Division I regional semifinals against North Canton Hoover.
The Bees (13-0-2) advance to host Mentor or Olentangy Liberty on Thursday with a trip to the state semifinals on the line, while Hoover ended the season 6-9-1.
Amanda Rom scored three of her four goals in a 6:43 span to help turn a precarious 3-2 Medina advantage into 7-2 halftime lead. The junior forward also had three assists.
“This is the playoffs. We knew the stakes we high,” Rom said. “The way we played in the first half wasn’t Medina lacrosse. Medina lacrosse stays strong all of the time.
“Hoover played a great man defense and they never quit hustling, but just made us more determined to work the ball around, charge to the goal and tire them out.”
Medina quickly extended its lead to 10-2 with early second-half goals, but the Vikings battled back to 10-5.
After three yellow cards were issued to the Bees within a 72-second span, Hoover had a chance to cut into the lead even further.
A Vikings midfielder set up the offense instead of shooting with her team up three players. Bees junior Sally Doyle then made the defensive play of the game by forcing a groundball in front of the goal, scooping up the loose ball and sprinting 70 yards downfield.
Doyle’s efforts denied the Vikings possession as the penalty time ticked away.
“I knew we were at a huge disadvantage at that point, so I had to do something to turn it around,” Doyle said. “My main goal after I picked it up was to get it out of our defensive end and get it down to the other end of the field. I wasn’t really looking to shoot. I wanted to see if I could find an open goal to set up with an assist.”
Medina scored three goals in the final 1:46 to put an exclamation point on its 17th consecutive post-season victory.
“We had to do a gut check at halftime. We weren’t playing like our true selves,” coach Amanda Wilson said. “We had to take of the details and some girls realized they had to do a little more. Winning a state championship is not just a physical process. Hopefully, we were able to get out heads straight tonight.”
“We get more pumped the harder the games get,” Rom added. “We know what we are working for. We want to get back to states again. Everyone on this team works together as one and we all trust we will get back to states.”
Contact Todd Shapiro at firstname.lastname@example.org.