By TRIBUNE SPORTS STAFF
---- — Western’s girls soccer team broke open what was a 1-0 game at intermission with three second-half goals to defeat Mississinewa 4-1 in Thursday’s Class 2A Kokomo Sectional semifinal round.
“I think we played a little safe in the first half,” Western coach Nicole Jackson said. “We weren’t quite as quick as we needed to be, but we were able to maintain possession and passed the ball and communicated well. Our goal keeper [Cybil Johnson] had some awesome saves for us.”
Johnson finished with 10 saves.
Sarah Connolly put Western on the board in the first half on an assist from Abby Webster. Connolly then assisted Jenna Seaman’s goal to start the second-half scoring. Courtney Pitzer added an unassisted goal to put the Panthers up 3-0 before Mississinewa scored with under nine minutes to play. Bre Buckalew added an insurance goal for Western on an assist from Webster with three minutes to play.
Western (9-5) will face Marion (14-2-1) in Saturday’s 7 p.m. sectional final. The Giants defeated Logansport 4-0 in the other semifinal match.
The Panthers are looking for their second sectional crown, and first since 1996.
“We just need to focus on defense and having good first touches,” Jackson said. “We’re ready for Saturday.”
NW 1, Delphi 0
Kennedy Priday scored on an assist from Brandi Harmon 15 minutes into the contest, and Northwestern’s defense helped limit the Oracles to two shots on goal in a victory in the semifinal round of the Class A West Lafayette Sectional.
Chloe Redman had a pair of saves for the Purple Tigers (9-7).
“Having the bye and setting us up for this game was good, but I was glad to get a game under our belts because we haven’t competed at a high level in recent weeks,” Northwestern coach Samantha Elkins said. “We were looking forward to playing a team that does things well and I was glad to see the girls step up their game very well. Our defense was solid. We didn’t leave many holes.”
Northwestern will face the host and No. 5-ranked Red Devils in Saturday’s 10 a.m. championship. West Lafayette defeated No. 14 Lafayette Central Catholic 5-0 in Thursday’s other semifinal. The Purple Tigers are seeking their first sectional title since 2009.
Taylor’s No. 1 doubles team of Cole Schroeder and Austin Douglas was defeated by West Lafayette’s tandem of Mikael Reuhs and Tommy Krause 6-0, 6-3 in Thursday’s individual sectional match at Kokomo High School.
Schroeder and Douglas finish the season with a 20-3 record, becoming the first Titan doubles tandem to reach the 20-win mark. They helped Taylor win its first team sectional title since 1981.
“[Thursday] night was a combo of we didn’t play as we as we’re played, and that was a really good No. 1 doubles team,” Taylor coach Dave Wise said. “It was by far the best we’re seen all season. We can’t feel too bad because [Schroeder and Douglas] ended up 6-1 in the conference, and their last loss before [Thursday] was back in the second week of the season in August. So, they had a great run through September and were one of our strongest points all season long.”
Frontier def. Carroll 25-14, 25-10, 25-15
Bailey Worl led Carroll with six kills and six digs. Libby Eller offered 11 digs and freshman Madison Miller stepped in as the Cougars’ setter and recorded nine assists.
Carmel def. Kokomo 25-9, 25-14, 25-7
The Class 4A No. 1-ranked Greyhounds (24-1) swept the VolleyKats (9-17) at Carmel.
Miranda Ogle led the offense with 13 assists, with five kills and a pair of aces from coming from Kirsten Frey. Tori Lauderbaugh and Brooke Smith both added three kills. Amanda Tran led the defense with 13 digs.