DIVISION II-AA STATE SEMIFINALS
BAYLOR 3, FATHER RYAN 0
Halftime score: 2-0. Goals: Peyton Thomas 2, Chloe Brackett. Assists: Brackett, Marci Carter. Shots: Baylor, 21-3. Saves: Mary Lauren Moss 11 (FR); Analiese Smith 1 (B). Records: Baylor 18-1; Father Ryan 12-6-3.
ST. AGNES 3, BATTLE GROUND ACADEMY 1
Halftime score: 2-0. Goals: Bethany Bunker 2, Sissy Frank (SA); Cara Ledman (BGA). Assists: Bunker, Mary Ruth Locastro, Brooke Veneklase (SA); Korrie Sauder (BGA). Shots: St. Agnes, 18-16. Saves: Ansley Tomlin 6 (BGA); Sandra Paris 5 (SA). Records: St. Agnes 17-1-1; BGA 12-4-2.
Baylor girls' soccer coach Jimmy Weekley felt something was missing early in his team's Division II-AA state semifinal matchup Friday night against Father Ryan. The Lady Irish had changed their formation and the Lady Red Raiders seemed to be panicking.
Senior midfielder Peyton Thomas was panicking, but it was for a different reason: She couldn't see.
Thomas, who had contact issues during the match, still scored two goals, and the Lady Red Raiders won 3-0 to advance to today's state championship match.
The Lady Red Raiders (18-1) will face second-ranked St. Agnes (17-1-1), which defeated Battle Ground Academy 3-1 in the other semifinal, this evening at 6:30 at GPS. It will be the third consecutive season the two have faced for the title.
"In the past two seasons, the match has came down to set pieces," Weekley said. "That's just how closely matched we are."
When asked if she had considered wearing goggles, Thomas said, "I should probably consider it. It's becoming a problem. Any time I get hit in the face or head a ball, [a contact] comes out. At times I've gone for a ball and missed it completely."
Baylor started off slowly, as the Lady Irish played with five midfielders at the start of the match, clogging up the middle in hopes of containing the Lady Red Raiders' attack. They finally figured it out in the 24th minute, when McKenzie Thomas turned and fired a shot on goal that Mary Lauren Moss couldn't completely corral. Chloe Brackett touched the ball in on the rebound.
Brackett then assisted Peyton Thomas, who scored a goal from distance. She got her second goal in the second half, heading in a Marci Carter free kick.
"For a while, we weren't being dangerous," Weekley said. "I thought we panicked early, but we slowed down and did a good job of possessing the rest of the way."
Father Ryan coach Robin Dieterich knew the challenge that Baylor presented.
"We had a decent first half and a much better second half," he said. "I can't complain about how we played. We worked hard, but Baylor is a great team."
Said Peyton Thomas: "We've got a lot of seniors and want to make this a good last year. It's our goal to finish our senior year as champions."
In the other semifinal, Bethany Bunker had two goals and an assist for the Lady Stars, who were up 2-0 in the first 12 minutes and tacked on another goal in the second half. Sissy Frank had St. Agnes' other goal.
Cara Ledman had the goal for BGA (12-4-2).