Brock Netter, Staff Writer
WAVERLY — Missed opportunities have a cruel way of reintroducing themslves.
North Adams had two chances to take a late lead or win on Saturday, but couldn’t connect. Meanwhile, Lynchburg-Clay had one opening for a win and seized the moment.
With the game tied 1-1 in overtime, the ball found itself at the feet of Jade Massey, who etched her name in Lynchburg-Clay galore as she scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 double overtime victory over the Green Devils in a Division III district final.
“Honestly I was just pushing myself and putting myself in a position where I could shoot to get the ball in,” Massey said. “That goal, I didn’t think it was going in at all, but I took the shot anyway and hoped for the best.”
The win marked the program’s seventh district championship in the last nine seasons. But there were moments where it looked like it wasn’t going to happen.
North Adams (12-7) struck first with 22:03 left in the first half as a corner kick found Hunter Grooms, who finished a header into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
However, Lynchburg-Clay (15-4) answered right back, minutes later, as Karlie Tipton smoked a left-footed rocket into the net, tying the game 1-1.
From that point on, both teams exchanged ball possession, shot attempts and physical challenges on 50-50 balls, although North Adams seemed to play with an extra edge.
“Coming into the game, we kind of knew what to expect from North Adams having played and beaten them earlier in the season,” Lynchburg-Clay’s Paige Flowers said. “Our confidence was pretty high, but they played very hard and wanted revenge on top of winning the district championship.”
The Green Devils had a couple of chances to score, but none bigger in the final minute of the game.
Karissa Buttelwerth had a breakaway look from 25 yards out, and dribbled to get within 10 yards and took the shot. But Lynchburg-Clay goalie Philemina Toca met her near the top of the box and blocked the shot back into the field of play. The rebound shot was taken and missed to the right, keeping the game knotted and sending it into overtime.
But 15 minutes of overtime wasn’t enough, so the game headed to double overtime. The Green Devils continued to apply pressure and managed to see a couple of shot attempts. Bu they couldn’t caress nylon.
The ball eventually made its way into Green Devils’ territory and that’s when Massey’s golden foot struck a golden goal for the win.
“I didn’t know what to expect when I kicked it,” Massey said with an ear-to-ear smile. “I’m still stunned it went in.”
“I cried,” Flowers said of the goal.
Lynchburg-Clay advances to a Division III regional semifinal at 7 p.m., Tuesday at Wheelersburg, who scored a 4-3 victory in overtime against Eastern Brown.
“At practice all week, we were confidence but it’s still nerve-racking playing because it was a district championship,” Flowers said. “We just came in and played our game. It started rough but it got better in the end. Our passing game was a little rough and we can’t have that going into regionals. But as long as we can be better in that area, then I think we’ll be just fine moving forward.”