Lady Pioneers have rematch with Coshocton this Tuesday night.
It’s on to the Division III Girls Soccer Sweet 16 for Zane Trace after a 1-0 win over West Muskingum Saturday afternoon.
Coach George Sauer said the Class of 2013 has been there before as freshmen, now they’ll return as a senior class “They’re bookends. They won the District championship as freshmen and they go out District champions as seniors.”
That 2009 experience ended in a 6-0 loss to Middletown Fenwick on the heels of a 3-2 win over county rival Unioto.
Rachel Hutton had an unassisted goal with 8:49 remaining in the first half to give Zane Trace the early lead in the Pioneers’ Division III Soccer District championship match with West Muskingum.
Hutton’s goal was part of a pressure placed on the Tornadoes’ defense.
It’s the third time in four years Zane Trace has reached the Final, winning two. The Pioneers will have a rematch with Coshocton, the team they lost to in the District Final in 2011. “We know a lot about them” said Sauer. “The girls want back at ‘em. We lost to them by one goal last year (2-1), but they’ve got some great athletes and it’s going to be a lot like today.”
Zane Trace maintained offensive control for most of the first half getting four shots on goal and three corner kicks to none for the Tornadoes. The only West Muskingum threat came at 16:27 when a shot hit the cross bar of the ZT goal.
The closest the Pioneers came to that point was when a ball ricocheted off the chest of the West Muskingum goalkeeper Chelcey Tussing and just as Meg Jaruwannakorn was closing in with a left foot, the Tussing secured the ball.
“There were a lot of opportunities for us in the first half to put the game away, and at halftime we talked about that. We just told them, it’s gonna take all your effort” said Sauer.
West Muskingum had the benefit of three free kicks in the final 15 minutes, but was unable to capitalize on them. Their final threat was a point blank save by Zane Trace’s Ali Jones with 4:04 remaining.
Jones also smothered a corner kick with 2:39 left to preserve the shutout. “She’s a winner and she’s only going to get better… she makes a hero save at the end to win the game” added Sauer.
The Pioneers will face Coshocton Tuesday night at a site to be announced, most likely a return trip to Athens High School for a 7pm first kick.
Listen to Dan Ramey's Post game interview with Coach George Sauer.