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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, October 03, 2018 1:00 am

Girls sectional soccer Bishop Dwenger 2 Leo 0

Freshman does it all for Saints in opener

VICTORIA JACOBSEN | The Journal Gazette

GARRETT – Bishop Dwenger freshman Ellen Hartzog had already helped set up the Saints' first goal to give them a one-score advantage over Leo in the first half of their Class 2A girls soccer sectional match Tuesday at Garrett. 

But as the final minutes ticked off and the Lions' chances for an equalizer became more and more desperate – and more dangerous – Hartzog thrust in the dagger. 

Keeping her distance from the nearest defender, she struck the ball with her right foot from outside the 18-yard box. The line-drive shot went straight into the top left corner of the net, beyond the reach of Leo goalkeeper Sarah Schleinkofer. 

“I dribbled through a couple people, and I looked up and I saw an open goal and I shot it up to upper 90,” Hartzog said, referring to upper corner. “Pretty exciting.”

The goal, which came with about 90 seconds remaining, capped the Saints' 2-0 victory in the first-round sectional match. 

“We played really well in the first half, we had possession for most of the first half, and for most of the second half, too,” said Bishop Dwenger senior Rebecca Ruiz. “It got kind of hectic towards the end of the second half, but we kept it together and ended up scoring another goal. So all in all, pretty good.”

The Saints didn't break through for the first 34 minutes until Hartzog stole the ball from a Leo defender. Bishop Dwenger passed it around the Leo half of the field as the Lions failed to clear, and Hartzog fed the ball to Callie Burns, who dribbled around two defenders and chipped it past Schleinkofer.

“I just saw her open, and she could dribble through everyone and got through perfectly,” Hartzog said. “I was pretty excited for our first goal.”

Senior defender Grace Collis said she could tell that Leo was dialing up the intensity as the second half drew to a close.

“They really, really wanted it,” Collis said. “And I think that's why we fell last year to Leo, when we lost in sectionals. They ended up just wanting it more. And this year, we kept up with them.”

The Saints had been 12-3-1 before they met Leo in the sectional final last season.  

“It's huge,” Collis said about getting the better of the Lions this time around. “It was our goal all season, this is what we've been working towards. So beating them was very relieving, especially because all year we've had that memory of last year, when we lost to them.

“It was terrible, because we went into double overtime and (penalty kicks), and we lost.”

The Lions end their season at 9-6-1. The Saints (10-4-1) will face Garret (5-8-1) in the sectional semifinals at 7 p.m. Thursday.