YORK TWP. — The Buckeye girls soccer team hasn’t played from behind much this season. That made the Bucks’ 2-1 overtime win Wednesday against Padua all the more golden.
A team that scored 98 goals in the regular season, the Bucks found themselves down quickly when Paityn Tabor volleyed a ball into the back of the net nine minutes into their Elyria Division II Sectional final.
Fourth-seeded Buckeye (13-2-2) collected itself, scored in the waning moments of regulation, and then Betsy Schley scored the biggest golden goal of her career with 3:59 left in the first overtime.
“I’m over the moon about it,” Bucks coach Derrick Gullen said. “They’re over the moon about it. You have to take advantage of each chance when you have it.”
Those chances haven’t come that often in the postseason for Buckeye, which is making only its fourth trip to the district level in the last 11 seasons and the first since 2014.
To get there and have a chance to play either top-seeded Bay (11-2-3) or ninth-seeded Fairview (10-5-1) on Monday, the Bucks had to withstand a punch to the gut from the fifth-seeded Bruins (7-8-2).
Buckeye pushed the action to no avail before Gabby Glancy finally got the Bucks on the board with 2:24 remaining in regulation.
Riley Vickerts sent a corner kick from the right into the mix and the junior forward back-heeled it into the corner of the net.
While just a game-tying goal, it swung all the momentum in the Bucks’ favor.
“I’m really proud of all of us for not giving up,” Glancy said. “Momentum switched a lot. We all had that momentum and just wanted to score again. It’s amazing. It’s a monkey off our backs.”
With the sudden shift, Buckeye, which appeared out of sync in the first half, ratcheted up offensively after the game-tying goal and pushed Padua every chance it could.
Even in overtime, the air of confidence was palpable as the Bucks kept the pressure on the Bruins for the first 10 minutes of the extra session.
When Fallon Joyce was taken down just outside of the box, the game-winning goal seemed like a foregone conclusion.
Medina County’s leading scorer stepped to the ball at the top-corner of the 18 on the left and put a shot on frame. Though Maya Rusnak was able to stop Fallon’s attempt, the ball squirted out of her hands and bounded away.
In a play that seemed like forever to develop, Schley beat everyone to the ball and tapped it in.
“I knew Fallon was going to get it to goal,” Schley said. “My defender was leaning on me, so I left her as Fallon kicked it. I followed up and when the goalie happened to bobble it, I was just there at the right time. It could have been anybody, but it happened to be me.
“It felt like an eternity. I couldn’t move any faster. I was like, ‘Come on.’ It was a big relief. I was like, ‘It’s over. We get to move on.’”
Padua coach Abbey Dotson is a 2009 Brunswick graduate. She is the sister of Brunswick boys soccer coach Ben Dotson and the sister-in-law of Blue Devils girls soccer assistant coach Gina Dotson. Gina Dotson (nee Pinzone) played soccer with Buckeye girls assistant Amanda Gullen (nee Patrick) at Walsh University.
Contact Brad Bournival at email@example.com.
Buckeye 2, Padua 1 (OT)
Elyria Division II Sectional Final
PADUA 1 0 0— 1
BUCKEYE 0 1 1 — 2
P — Paityn Tabor, 31:38.
B — Gabby Glancy (Riley Vickerts), 2:24.
B — Betsy Schley, 3:59.
Shots on goal — Buckeye 9, Padua 4. Corner kicks — Buckeye 9, Padua 3. Saves — Maya Rusnak (P) 7, Julianne Finley (B) 3. Records — Padua (7-8-2), Buckeye (13-2-2).