Amanda Bartholomew was a War Eagle killer on Tuesday, scoring two second half in the Chiefs’ 3-1 win.
For most of the season it seemed destined that McIntosh and Whitewater would meet again for the girls state soccer championship. The Chiefs held up their end of the bargain with a 3-1 win over Marist Tuesday night.
Winning on the road at Marist was no easy task as the War Eagles came into the game ranked number two in the state, one spot ahead of McIntosh. But this Chief squad has lost only twice this season with both at the hands of Whitewater, including one in the region championship game, and they weren't about to let down with one more shot at the Wildcats on the line. They will get their chance for revenge on Saturday at 7 p.m.
"We're excited to play in the finals and frankly it wouldn't have been as much fun without Whitewater there," smiled Chief Head Coach Marcia Clark. "We need to show up against them. Whitewater deserves it. They've been having a great year. You don't want the best team to not show up in the finals."
The Chiefs wasted no time taking control of the game against Marist. Just over two minutes into the contest Sydney Brogden boomed a corner kick into the box that Corrine Wooten headed into the net for the game's opening goal.
Just one minute later Gabby Seiler narrowly missed extending the lead with a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar.
Marist finally got their offense in gear from there, keeping the pressure on McIntosh and unleashing a number of strong shots on goal. Chief keeper Kaitlin Deitrick usually doesn't see such a heavy workload with her stellar defense in front of her, but she was ready to go when they needed her.
As impressive as Deitrick was, it would be her backup that made the save of the game. Following a yellow card, Hannah Graham was forced into the game. She did not disappoint. Marist appeared ready to finally light up the scoreboard as they drilled a laser shot. Graham had other ideas, making a spectacular diving save that stunned the crowd.
"When your backup keeper has an amazing save as well that's gotta make you feel good," praised Coach Clark.
Amanda Bartholomew put the icing on the cake for McIntosh, scoring two second half goals on assists from Gabby Seiler. Her first tally came ten minutes after halftime when she beat two War Eagle defenders and rocketed the ball into the net. Less than a minute later Bartholomew struck again, corralling a ball misplayed by the goalie for a wide open goal.
Marist would finally score with under four minutes left, far too late to stop the McIntosh machine.
"I'm proud of the way we finished tonight," said Clark. "We fought for the ball. We made the most of our chances and that's what we've been working on."
Now the Chiefs will see if they can make the most of their third chance at Whitewater.