MIDDLEBURY — The Elkhart Memorial girls soccer team came within inches of taking a 1-0 lead just 12 seconds into its Northridge Sectional game with Goshen on Tuesday.
But senior Ally Bailey's shot went off the cross bar and back out, and the game remained scoreless all the way through halftime.
Goshen then took control of the second half and went on to beat Memorial 2-0 to advance to Thursday's semifinals against Concord.
"I don't think it would have been a 1-0 game if we had scored that early, but it would have given our kids more confidence,'' Crimson Charger coach Don Knowlton said. "Goshen is a good team and they would have pushed the tempo a little more if we had the lead, but it would have been interesting for sure.''
Instead, it was the RedHawks who scored quickly in the second half, as Aylissa Trosper celebrated her birthday in style, driving a kick past Memorial goaltender Adeline Hawkins to give Goshen a 1-0 lead just 14 seconds into the second half. Noelia Calderon got an assist on the goal.
"It was Aylissa's birthday and she was really hoping to score and for us to win,'' Goshen coach Dan Graber said. "She really worked hard tonight and that goal was a perfect example of it. We wanted to come out hard after halftime and try to score and that's exactly what happened.''
The RedHawks added to their lead at the 57-minute mark when Aniya Hartzler took a pass from Trosper and drilled a low shot past Hawkins to make it 2-0.
"We have been a second-half team all season, but we've talked with the girls about not being able to get away with that in the state tournament,'' Graber said. "Memorial played well tonight, but we really didn't come ready to play in the first half and that's disappointing.''
The shutout was the ninth of the season for Goshen, as goalie Kassandra Rodriguez had 12 saves. Hawkins was also strong in goal for the Chargers with 15 saves.
GOSHEN 2, ELKHART MEMORIAL 0
G – Aylissa Trosper (Noelia Calderon assist) 41st minute.
G – Aniya Hartzler (Trosper) 57th.
Shots on goal: Goshen 17, Memorial 12. Saves: Goshen 12 (Kassandra Rodriguez), Memorial 15 (Adeline Hawkins). Corner kicks: Goshen 3, Memorial 6.
Records: Goshen 13-3-2, Memorial 6-9-2.
Next: Northridge vs. Central, 5 p.m., followed by Goshen vs. Concord Thursday in Northridge Sectional semifinals.