Jeff Brewer

BATH TWP.: Walsh Jesuit senior Maddie Anzelc has scored prettier goals, but few more important.

Anzelc’s goal enabled undefeated Walsh to top Jackson 1-0 and overcome a strong performance by Polar Bears goalkeeper Katie Kingsbury in a Division I girls soccer regional semifinal Tuesday night at Revere’s Pappano Stadium.

“It just so happened to be a scrappy one when it hit random body parts, random people, and it went in,” Anzelc said. “It’s just kind of funny. We were both good teams and we played good soccer.”

The goal came with 6:47 left in the match and propelled state-ranked Walsh (17-0-3), Division II state champion a year ago, to a regional championship game Saturday against Strongsville at Rocky River.

For Anzelc, it really was a case of try, try again. After several quality opportunities earlier in the match, her perseverance was rewarded when sophomore Christina Trickett played a corner kick inside the 6-yard box.

“I think it was a rib-cage shot, stomach, ribs, something, but it went in,” Anzelc said.

And although the Warriors dominated the match statistically, coach Dino McIntyre believed the longer it continued 0-0 that Jackson (14-5-1) might find a way to pull off the upset.

“Because of all the chances, and the goalie flicking one over, I’m thinking, ‘They are going to come down one time like it has happened before in 21 years.’ I’ve seen all kinds of games,” McIntyre said. “You are thinking: Is this one of those nights? I was hoping we would eventually get composed around the box.”

Despite a 4-0 loss to Walsh earlier in the season, Jackson came ready to play.

“They had as much belief as any Jackson team to get it done tonight,” Jackson coach Frank Gagliardi said. “The girls showed a tremendous turnaround from the last time we played Walsh.”

Kingsbury, a senior and Kent State recruit, made nine saves, including two highlight-reel stops to keep it scoreless.

“Katie was sensational,” Gagliardi said. “She showed her experience and all of the time she has put in. She is tremendously committed.”

Her sprawling save on a header flicked onto the goal by Anzelc with nearly eight minutes played in the second half may have been the biggest.

Then Walsh turned up the heat and peppered Kingsbury over the next 20 minutes. The Polar Bears, meanwhile, could not get much going offensively.

“Obviously, we’re not four goals better than them,” McIntyre said. “That [regular season] game had nothing to do with this game. I tried to get everybody to be of the same frame of mind. It’s the worst thing to play the same team twice.”

McIntyre cited his defenders, Kaitlyn Semelsberger, Abby Major and Emily Rogers.

“With those three, nothing got behind them,” he said. “And if it did, it was going to the goalie or going out of bounds. They really protected our side and tucked in and gave us some compactness. Those three for me were the best players on the field.”