By Gary R. Rasberry
FINDLAY -- From the start of the Division I girls soccer sectional match, Celina took it to Fremont Ross.
The Bulldogs took advantage of some short clearing kicks by the Little Giants and began to attack the goal.
In the first 33 minutes of play, Celina tried 20 shots on Ross keeper Stephanie White. White was able to make saves on 14 of the shots while the other six went wide or high.
Celina was finally able to get a goal with four minutes left in the first half and added three more in a 4-0 win over the Little Giants at Graham Soccer Stadium in Findlay.
The win advances the Bulldogs (7-7-3) to Monday's lower bracket final game at 5 p.m. Fremont Ross ends its season at 5-10-1. The Bulldogs had plenty of opportunities on White all evening, taking a total of 43 legitimate shots on goal in 80 minutes of action. White was up to the challenge, diving, jumping and sliding her way to 24 saves on the night.
"I don't know how many scoring chances we had in the first 10 minutes," said Celina head coach Dean Liggett. "Finishing has been a problem for us. We know we're going to get the shots. It was only a matter of time."
The opportunity finally came with the clock showing nearly four minutes remaining in the half. Rachel Schollmeier got a breakaway and finally found a way to put the ball past White with 4:10 left in the half.
Two minutes later, another shot clearance by Fremont Ross, another breakaway. This time, it was Allison Hoying who got free and put it past White with 2:18 left in the half to make it 2-0.
Celina's defense did the rest of the work in the game as the Little Giants only had two clean shots on the Celina net on the night. Starting keeper Laura Kuhn did not have to do much as both shots went wide. Kuhn and backup Allison Braun, who came in late in the second half, did not even have to make a save.
Halfway through the second half, Celina added another pair of goals. Lindsey Schmitmeyer got a breakaway and scored with 18:42 left in the game. Fourteen minutes later, Amy Niekamp wrapped up the scoring with a breakaway of her own to make it 4-0.
"The nice thing was the girls who stepped up and scored tonight was, for two of them, it was their first goal of the season," said Liggett, referring to Niekamp and Schollmeier. "It was nice to get girls in there who stepped up when the game was on the line."
Even after the scoring, Celina still put shots on White. White continued to come up with big saves to keep the deficit from expanding.
Liggett was impressed with White.
"Their keeper did a nice job," said Liggett. "She made some nice saves and we didn't put the ball where we wanted to put it."