MECHANICSBURG — On Tuesday, Oct. 18, the Tri-County North girls soccer team defeated Mechanicsburg, 6-3, in the first round of the Dayton 2 Sectional Tournament.
North started off the game strong. Hailey Thies scored the first goal off an assist from Megan Hemp, just minutes into the first half. Shortly after, Thies scored another goal, this time assisted by Paige Daugherty.
As the half continued, Megan Hemp scored on an assist from Thies, giving North a 3-0 lead.
The Panther defense, consisting of Chelsey Strawser, Brooke Maleski, Hailey Stupp and goal keeper Morgan Helman, held the Lady Indians scoreless for the entire first half. After Helman was involved in a collision, Andrea Combs stepped up as goalkeeper until Helman was able to return. With just 28 seconds remaining in the first half, Hemp passed the ball to Thies for another TCN goal, her third in the half. This brought the score to 4-0.
In the second half, the Panthers continued to pour on the pressure with a goal from Daugherty, for a 5-0 lead that normally puts a soccer game out of reach. But Mechanicsburg didn’t give up, scoring three times in the second half and closing the gap to 5-3.
The final goal — with 18 minutes remaining in the game — came from Thies, assisted once more by Hemp.
The Lady Panthers took 36 shots with six goals for the night.
It was a total team effort which included Liv Baldasare, Preston Lipinski, Taylor Green, Racheal Dempsey, Kaylah Keener, Emily Browning, Patience Getter, Lani Baldasare and Emily Norris.
“They played great tonight — they have worked so hard all season and have earned this,” said TCN coach Clint Daugherty. “Before every game, the girls circle up and chant ‘One Team, One Dream!’ and tonight’s performance was definitely an example of ‘One Team.’”
Tri County North advances to play the Waynesville Spartans on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m., in Waynesville.
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH