Sarah Woelfel’s goal in the 53rd minute was all the offense No. 1 Millard North needed as the Mustangs upended No. 2 Omaha Marian 1-0 at Millard North.
The win didn’t come easy for the defending Class A state champs as the Crusaders dictated the tempo and attacked aggressively for most of the game.
Marian outshot Millard North 18-1 in the first half and 28-8 in the game but was unable to solve Millard North goalkeeper Kylynn Moyer, who earned the shutout with 12 saves.
“It happens in this game,” Marian coach Ed Dudley said. “You kind of dominate a team and not win. It happens all the time.
“Give Millard North credit for putting it in the goal.”
Millard North coach John Walsh said he liked the way his team was able to respond after halftime.
“We thought they had a few more chances in the first half than we did, but in the second half, I thought the chances were pretty even,” Walsh said.
After playing on its heels through much of the first 50 minutes, Millard North was able to generate some effective counterattacks in the second half that eventually resulted in Woelfel’s goal.
“We tried to the get the ball into spaces that we thought we were going to be more successful at,” Walsh said of his team’s second-half strategy.
Woelfel, who just two minutes earlier had a shot go over the crossbar, finally beat Marian keeper Taylor Saucier from just in front of the goal off a pass from Rachel Brennan.
Woelfel credited the team collectively for putting it all together on the play.
“We finally got one boost of energy. We got the ball, and everyone just went for it,” Woelfel said.
Marian nearly tied the game in the 89th minute when Faith Carter crossed the ball in front of the goal to Gini Yost, whose shot sailed just over the crossbar.
Millard North, which has not surrendered a goal and has outscored its opponents 20-0 this season, improved to 5-0.
The Crusaders fell to 4-1 in outscoring their opponents 19-2 this year.
Dudley predicted this match would not be the last between the top two rated squads in the state.
“This year we might be playing two or three more times,” Dudley said.
Omaha Marian (4-1-0) ............ 0 0—0
At Millard North (5-0-0) ........... 0 1—1
Goal: 1, MN, Sarah Woelfel (Rachel Brennan) 52:45. Shots: OM 28, MN 8. Shots on goal: OM 12, MN 7. Saves: OM, Taylor Saucier 6 ; MN, Kylynn Moyer 12.