Lady Jackets soccer finishes second in NLL in bittersweet loss to Anthony Wayne

Lady Jackets soccer finishes second in NLL in bittersweet loss to Anthony Wayne

Hailey Thompson
Guest Writer

The girls varsity soccer season drew to a close last Thursday, October 24, with a 4-1 loss for Perrysburg in the district final to Anthony Wayne, cementing Perrysburg’s season record at 9-6-2. Perrysburg placed second in Northern Lakes League. 

“I thought we battled really hard with AW,” said junior Abby Wilhelm. “And I was extremely proud to see everyone working their best and as a team.”

The game began with freshman Adele Francis shooting the ball in the back of the net, but the shot was ruled offsides. 

The tide turned in favor of Anthony Wayne about half way through the first half with a goal from the Generals, but the Jackets rallied.

Senior Natalie Mack showed off her talent by dribbling up the midfield, juking multiple players, and blasting a shot at the Generals’ keeper, who struggled to contain the ball. 

Francis picked up the aftermath with a second shot, missing the net by mere inches. 

Perrysburg’s central defender Jess Gast (junior) won some tense battles in the air, and outside back Sage Zeitler stopped many opportunities for Anthony Wayne before the Generals could build momentum. 

A second score from the Generals ended the half 2-0 in favor of Anthony Wayne.

Perrysburg sophomore Rayann Pruss won a defensive spat on the sideline to give the ball to Mack, who crossed it into the goal box. Francis got on the end of it, but the Generals’ keeper took it off her foot to keep Perrysburg scoreless in the first half.

The second half continued fierce play from the moment the whistle blew. Fans were still on their feet, cheering for the Jackets as they earned with a save by senior goalkeeper Lily Yoder. 

Not long after, a chip by Wilhelm landed at Mack’s feet. With a touch and a shot, Mack sent the ball sailing towards the goal, but it missed. Anthony Wayne took it down the field once more, and defender Sarah Pattenburg, senior, deflected a would-be dangerous cross. 

Pruss and Francis showed their speed in a series of runs at Anthony Wayne’s defense, earning the lone goal for Pruss and Perrysburg.

The Perrysburg crowd roared to a frenzy. 

Anthony Wayne soon fouled in their own goal box, which meant a penalty kick for the Jackets.  

The Generals emerged victorious, and the Jackets’ season was over. Despite the sadness, the Jackets played with pride and displayed their skills.

Wilhelm said after the game how excited she was to work with players coming up to varsity next year from the JV team. 

For the team’s seniors, the moment was bittersweet.

“I’m sad to see our seniors go,” said Sage Zeitler, “but I can’t wait to see who steps up and works hard to fill in their spots for our team.”

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