CARROLL – Junior Kimberly Serna has seen a lot of playing time this season for the Big Walnut girls soccer team. But, until Saturday’s district final, it was mostly off the bench.
She responded to the change in status by scoring two goals to lead the Golden Eagles to a 2-0 win over Chillicothe Unioto in the Division II regional semifinal Tuesday night.
“I think we did well to get the win,” BW coach Chris Allen said. “I don’t think this was our best game. But, at the same time, at least we got the result. So, that’s good.”
It was something as simple as effort for Serna.
“I just think that effort has been a big deal,” she said. “I’ve been improving a lot and I’ve been striving to take that extra step … to take another five minutes to understand (something) and to talk to my teammates that I know play my position better than I do.”
“(She’s a) good, smart player,” Allen said. “She knows where to be at the right time. She’s been doing well with (her new role) and it paid off tonight.”
Ball possession and space is a key to what BW (13-2-4) does on offense. It was on display on the Eagles’ first goal.
“When you possess the ball, you get to dictate play,” Allen said. “We were able to get in behind and create two good chances.”
Avery Schone led Serna open on the right side.
“We’ve been working on movement,” Serna said. “Avery – being in the middle – she really can see little seams. So, I just knew that if I was able to be in an open space she would get me the ball. I’m very confident in her passes, so I just had to be there.”
Serna snuck a ball low just inside the right post with 19:05 left in the first half.
“The defender was running on my left side,” Serna said. “I was going to try everything I could to get it on the far post. But, I figured (the defender) would be able to get (to) it quicker. So, I went close post.”
Then, Alexis Schone, from the right, centered. Serna collected and sent a shot that beat the goalie high with 28:22 left in the game.
“We had been practicing a lot of turning – especially up forward,” Serna said. “I started, recently, becoming more confident with it. Immediately, once I got the ball – it just felt right to do.”
This was a rematch of last year’s regional semifinal, which the Eagles won 1-0.
BW advances to Saturday’s regional final against New Concord John Glenn at a site and time to be determined.
Pickerington North 4, Olentangy 2
Kylee Beinecke gave the Braves (14-4-2) and early lead with a long-range blast in the first 10 minutes of action, but the Panthers (15-1-3) went on to score four unanswered goals to take control on the way to a win in Tuesday’s Division I regional semifinal at Dublin Jerome.
Beinecke’s tally made it 1-0 with 31:11 left in the first half. From there, though, it was all Pickerington North. Camryn Dees got the equalizer about six minutes later and Alicia Donley made it 2-1 off a turnover with about six minutes left in the first half.
Tori Haggit and Avery Hart scored a pair of insurance goals in the second half, making it a 4-1 game with 15:37 left, and Beinecke smoothed out the scoring summary with her second of the game less than a minute later.
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