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Wyoming Seminary Defeats Lehman To Get Back To D2 Title Game

May 22, 2019

KINGSTON — For over four minutes in Tuesday’s District 2 Class 2A semifinal, Wyoming Seminary, playing with a two-goal cushion, played keep away from Lake-Lehman.

The visiting Black Knights, not content to let their own district title dreams fade away, mounted one last charge. They finally got the turnover they needed, which led to a goal with 7.1 seconds left.

With a final faceoff upcoming, Sem goalie Mia Raineri stood in front of the goal bracing for Lehman’s last chance.

“I noticed they were trying to spread the field out, trying to get a nice clear lane to the goal,” Raineri said. “I was trying to stay in communication with the defense. I like to be active back there. I told them that if the ball goes up, I’m probably going to go out and grab it.”

Lake-Lehman won the draw, made a quick pass and fired a final desperation shot.

Raineri corralled it just as the horn sounded. Soon she was engulfed by teammates, celebrating a 10-9 victory.

Sem’s win comes 12 days after losing in the regular season at Lake-Lehman.

“We had home-field advantage (this time) which is a huge plus when you’re playing a game,” Sem’s Christina Kilyanek said. “After losing, it gave us more momentum to want to beat them more.

“We’ve been through this before so we knew how important it was to come back the second time playing them even harder than we did the first.”

A back-and-forth first half closed with two Lake-Lehman goals in the final 1:22 — Jess Evans and Kate Roberts doing the honors — sending the Black Knights into halftime with a 5-4 lead.

Lehman goals from Ava Radel and Madison Lasinski, sandwiched around one from Sem’s Ashley Metz early in the second half left 7-5 in favor of the Black Knights.

Sem has won eight straight District 2 titles dating back to the first tournament in 2011. But success hasn’t bred contentment.

This group of Blue Knights want another title as badly as any team would want its first. That desire that drew them back into the game.

“It was kind of just a team effort saying, ‘We know we’re down. We know how this game is going. But we can do it if we all play together and work as a team,’” said Sem’s Paige Parsons. “We came into this game wanting it. We wanted it so badly. You can hear it from the sideline to the bench to the people on the field. We’re all cheering after goals, cheering for each save. It was a team effort and we told each other, ‘We want this game, and if we want it we have to go work our hardest and leave it all on the field if we want to win.’”

Metz scored two more to pull Sem even. Grace Parsons intercepted a pass and took it for the goal that put Sem ahead. The run wasn’t over as Maaike Reitsma scored shortly before Metz tallied her fourth of the game give Sem a 10-7 lead.

“The heart of this team,” coach Catie Kersey said was the difference. “They have all season been gunning to win another district title. To beat Lehman at home was also huge. They stepped up. Our midfield worked extremely hard to win the draws. We played really good team defense up and down the field.”

All the while, Raineri was coming up big in goal as Lehman was scoreless for more than 14 minutes in the second half.

“I think our team kind of gets fueled off my saves,” Raineri said. “We’re not used to being down a lot in recent history. If I can get us going in transition, we’re a pretty fast team in the midfield. We know they’re also fast and will challenge us there. If I can get the ball moving up, we have a better chance of scoring.”

Lehman fought back, with Evans scoring with 5:26 left to pull her team back within two. But Sem won the ensuing draw and stubbornly refused to give up the ball until less than a minute remained. Every pass took more precious seconds off the clock and brought Sem closer to victory.

“It shows us our sound, fundamental skills,” Parsons said. “We’re all able to catch and throw and I think that is unselfish play. No one is taking it and trying to shoot it those last few minutes to get their stats up or score a goal in a Lehman game. Everyone just wants to work together to get that time down and secure that win.”

Evans scored her third with 7.1 seconds left and won the ensuing draw. But the Black Knights’ last gasp fell short.

Lake-Lehman’s season ends with a 15-5 record.

“It was a great game. We’ve been coming a long way. It just always seems it’s that one-goal difference every year,” Lehman coach Ron Strohl said. “We’re there. They know that they’re there as a team. They come together as a team They play together as a team. Seminary knows when we’re coming to play we’re going to bring everything we got. I couldn’t be prouder of this team. This team really came through some adversity over the years. They have a lot to be proud of.”

Sem (16-3) plays for the district championship at 5 p.m. Friday at Wyoming Area.

WYOMING SEMINARY SCORING: Goals: Ashley Metz 4, Grace Parsons 2, Parker Callahan, Christina Kilyanek, Anna Mozeleski, Maaike Reitsma. Assists — Kilyanek, Lily Kutz.

LAKE-LEHMAN SCORING: Goals — Jess Evans 3, Kate Roberts 2, Mikella Monaco, Madison Lasinski, Ava Radel, Lillian Raczkowski. Assists — Roberts 2, Evans, Samantha Aben, Monaco, Raczkowski.

SAVES: Sem — Mia Raineri 10; LL — Chloe Osborne 11.

HALFTIME: Lake-Lehman 5-4

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