Lake falls, 2-1, on PK in final minutes

MILLBURY — Maumee junior forward Ava Leonard found the back of the net on a penalty kick with 3:13 remaining to give the Panthers a 2-1 Division II tournament win over Lake Saturday at Lake Community Stadium.

Leonard was awarded the PK after the Flyers were whistled for a handball in the box. Leonard’s goal not only broke a 1-1 tie, it was Maumee’s second goal of the half after the Flyers held a 1-0 halftime lead.

In the first half, with the wind at their back, Lake senior forward Emily Darr’s shot caught the upper right corner of the net, putting the Flyers ahead 1-0 with 18:31 remaining until intermission.

The Flyers held a 4-3 advantage in shots over the Panthers the first half, including 4-1 in shots on goal. But once Maumee got the wind to their back, that changed.

The Panthers outshot the Flyers 9-4 in the second half, finishing with a 12-8 advantage, and Maumee had eight shots on net to Lake’s two over the final 40 minutes.

Maumee tied the score when junior defensive back Cait Smalley hit a high-arching shot from 30 yards that sailed over Lake sophomore goalkeeper Laure Tobias’ head just four minutes and 38 seconds after the opening kickoff.

Maumee (8-7-2) returns to Lake Community Stadium on Wednesday to take on Port Clinton (13-3-1) in a district semifinal.

Maumee coach Jeremiah McNutt did his due diligence, saying he drove to Lake to watch the Flyers play Northern Buckeye Conference champion Eastwood to a 1-1 draw in the final week of the regular season.

McNutt was also at Lake to watch the Flyers’ 10-0 win over Clyde in their tournament opener, and he says it helped his team prepare defensively.

“I came and did a little scouting,” McNutt said. “I came and watched them in that freezing cold with a couple players. We just wanted to see who we might be playing against. Besides that, we just played our game.”

Despite its winning record, Maumee was 3-4 in the Northern Lakes League, but next year will join the NBC.

The Panthers will be playing Lake, Eastwood and the remainder of the NBC schools in league competition.

“This is a good game for next year because now we know what we might be playing against. So, it’s a good step for us,” McNutt said. “The NLL always prepares us for this. That challenge, I liked it. It was hard on us, but I liked it. It got us ready for these games.”

Lake finishes with a 9-6-3 record. Coach Don Jablonski did not to talk to media after the game.

The Flyers were led in scoring by junior forward Brianna Braatz, who had 61 points on 27 goals and seven assists.

Senior forward Hayden Schroyer had 15 goals and 17 assists, senior forward Elise Staczek had seven goals and five assists, Emily Darr had seven goals and two assists, and sophomore forward Audrey Snowdy had eight assists.