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High Schools

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Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Bishop Dwenger’s Lexie Royal, left, and Snider’s Haley Evans fight for control of the ball Thursday night.
Dwenger 2, Snider 1

Saints capture sectional title

Dwenger wins on PK in 2nd half

Madeline Pollifrone, center, celebrates with her Bishop Dwenger teammates after scoring in the first half Thursday.
Photos by Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Snider’s Meredith Shipman, left, goes up for a head ball in front of Bishop Dwenger’s Natalie Lebamoff during the second half Thursday.

Bishop Dwenger coach Jeff Killion gave a halftime message without a halftime talk.

During the entire 10-minute intermission, with his Saints tied with Snider in Thursday’s Class 2A sectional championship game at Carroll, Killion sat in his fold-up canvas chair while, to his right, his team sat on the bench.

“I wasn’t happy with them,” Killion said. “It wasn’t our play, it was more our attitude.”

But since Dwenger’s defense blanked Snider in the second half, the Saints’ attitude was considerably better when they walked off with a 2-1 victory.

Kellee O’shaughnessy’s penalty kick with 31:28 remaining in the match proved to be the difference, sending No. 16 Dwenger (13-4) into the East Noble Regional, where it will face either South Side or Norwell, which play in the Bellmont Sectional finals Saturday.

O’shaughnessy was pulled down by Snider’s Karrina Smith a few steps into the goal box, which prompted the PK to be awarded.

“In our previous game, she was on me, too, the whole time,” O’shaughnessy said. “When she came in, I knew it was going to happen again. I just tried to do by best and work around her and do all I could do with her on me.

“She pulled my arm and I went down.”

Snider coach Jim LaBorde, whose Panthers were denied a sectional title for the first time in nine years, said he couldn’t dispute the call.

“I couldn’t see from the angle I had,” said LaBorde, who stood with his team at the opposite end where the penalty occurred. “I just got to trust the officials are doing the best they can. We live with it and go from there.”

It was also an official’s call that played a part in the Saints’ first-half goal.

Lining up a corner kick to the right of the Snider goal, Madeline Pollifrone’s kick curved into the goal, where it was kicked away by a defender. But the ruling was that the ball crossed the plane to give the Saints a 1-0 lead.

“I’ve seen it happen many times over the years,” Killion said. “We’re lucky that the line judge on the right side saw it. A lot of times they don’t see it.”

With its offensive intensity increased, Snider (12-3-1) tied the match at 1 with 5:18 left in the first half on Mckenzie Kell’s goal from the right side.

Both teams missed second-half penalty kicks when hand balls inside the box was called.

Snider’s Meredith Shipman was eager to address the ball for a penalty kick with 10:06 remaining, but because the official’s hand was still in the air, she stopped, stutter stepped, then hammered the goal’s crossbar. Then with a chance to put the game away on a penalty kick with 3:49 left, O’shaughnessy hit the left post.

“It was a big game for us,” O’shaughnessy said. “We beat them earlier in the season, but we knew they would come back even harder and wanted it so much more because it’s sectionals. It’s pretty rough and aggressive every time. We had to step up the intensity, and we pulled it out in the end.”