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Bodkin Wins It For St. C. in 2OT

Photo by Kim North St. Clairsville’s Delaney Florence, left, and Tri-Valley’s Lexi Klotzbach go after a loose ball during Tuesday’s district semifinal game.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Survive and advance is a common phrase used during the postseason. It also precisely describes Tuesday night’s Ohio Division II Eastern District girls’ soccer tournament semifinal between Tri-Valley and St. Clairsville.

Alyssa Bodkin pounded home an assist from Emily Thompson early in the 98th minute as the fourth-seeded Red Devils outlasted the visiting Scotties, 1-0, on the artificial pitch inside Red Devil Stadium. With the win, St. Clairsville (11-5-1) advance to Saturday’s district final opposite John Glenn, which dispatched Steubenville, 2-0 Tuesday night. That game will be played Saturday in New Concord at a time to be decided.

St. Clairsville and Tri-Valley battled through 80 scoreless minutes of regulation time and another 15 in the first overtime before Bodkin sent the Red Devil fans home with smiles on their faces.

“We were all getting frustrated and we were tired but we kept battling,” Bodkin said. “We played together as a team and put passes together.”

When asked how big the wide-open net looked when the ball came to her, she replied, “very big. It was kind of intimidating.”

But not intimidating enough.

Tri-Valley sophomore goalkeeper Alison Yingling came out to challenge Thompson, but the ball squirted away and rolled right to Bodkin’s strong right foot. She did the rest for her 18th net-finder of the campaign.

“My girls played their hearts out (Tuesday). I’m so proud of them,” St. Clairsville head coach Wes Stoner said. “They never gave up.”

It appeared St. Clairsville had broken the scoreless drought in the 69th minute when Mikayla Hendershot knocked a rebound into the net after Yingling had stopped an initial shot by Thompson.

“He (the referee) said we were offsides,” Stoner explained of the goal that was negated. “I told the girls after regulation time when we were getting ready for the first overtime to quit complaining about that goal being taken away. We still need one goal to win. Thank heavens we crashed the net. She (Yingling) bobbled the ball a little bit and Alyssa put it away.

“Man they are tough. They are sound and defend well,” Stoner said of the Scotties (10-7-1). “That save on ET (Emily Thompson) in the first half when she got a hand on it was absolutely tremendous. I still don’t know how she got to it. She is tough to get shots by and she’s aggressive. They are sound everywhere.”

On the other end of the field, the Red Devils welcomed standout senior goalkeeper Jaeda Nowak back to the lineup. She missed the sectional final victory over Beaver Local last week with a shoulder injury but stopped all eight shots Tri-Valley fired at her.

“Thank heavens Jaeda was back tonight. She was a huge boost to the defense just knowing that she was there,” Stoner said of Nowak who recorded her 34th career shutout. “The girls played with a little more confidence with her back there.”

VOLLEYBALL

Wheeling Park d. Oak Glen 25-20, 25-18, 27-25

NEW CUMBERLAND — The senior duo of Rachel Simon and Ally Franko dominated as Wheeling Park swept defending W.Va. Class AA State Champion Oak Glen.

Simon garnered 17 kills, 18 digs and three blocks and Franko turned in 11 kills, seven digs and a pair of blocks for the victorious Patriots.

Isabelle Miller collected 18 digs as Park improved to 21-5.

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