VERMILION — Bad bounces and hit crossbars, it just wasn’t Elyria Catholic’s night at Vermilion High School.
Sammy Serfozo’s goal was the lone score in the Sailors’ 1-0 non-conference victory over the Panthers on Senior Night for Vermilion (3-9).
After a scoreless first half, Serfozo right-footed a looping shot towards the Elyria Catholic goal from just inside the penalty box. The ball bounced twice and squirted past Panthers’ goalie Cameron Resor and dribbled over the goal line.
The Panthers (2-6-1) hit the crossbar once in each half, but despite firing 15 shots at Vermilion goalie Claudia Wilson, none of those shots would found the back of the net.
“I kept my focus and stayed on my toes,” Wilson said. “You really have to concentrate, especially in a game like this — high intensity and very wet outside.
“I’m pretty excited by the outcome. We’ve worked really hard over the last few weeks and fell short a lot of games. I’m glad we came out on top in this one.”
Two Panthers in particular launched shots on goal all night. Junior forward Emilie Uhnak took six shots while freshman Emily Vogal fired off seven.
“They are a solid team and they have particularly good attacking players,” Vermilion coach Dan O’Brien said. “They play elite club soccer and it shows. They are a lot to contend with but we got numbers behind the ball and defended as a group.
“The main thing that countered that was to try to keep a little bit of possession. For our team that’s been kind of an on-going evolution. We found the switches and played up the flanks and that helps. If we keep it, we keep it away from them.”
With 8:35 left in the first half, junior Alexa Oberg took a feed from Vogel after a bad Vermilion clear. Her shot was high and bounced off the crossbar behind Wilson and the Sailors were able to clear the ball out of Elyria Catholic’s attacking zone.
With 8:05 remaining in the game, the Panthers hit the crossbar again, this time when Sadie Hutsenpiller launched a shot from 25 yards out that was inches too high.
All this came after Serfozo’s fluke goal.
“She was looking up and watching the player as the play progressed,” Elyria Catholic coach Dana McNeely said. “You have someone attacking you on a slippery field. It is what it is. The big thing is that we need to be able to counter that. Hitting two crossbars and taking a lot of shots was good, we just couldn’t get one to fall when we needed it.”
In the game’s final eight minutes, O’Brien moved sophomore Mikayla Lindo from forward to defense to shore up his back line. It worked as the Panthers couldn’t get a clean shot off the rest of the way.
“As that clock starts ticking you get more anxious and you make more mistakes,” McNeely said. “It’s not as crisp, it’s not as clean and we weren’t shooting as well. When you start to rush, mistakes start to happen, the ball gets transitioned and we can’t get that momentum back.”
Vermilion 1, Elyria Catholic 0
V – Sammy Serfozo (unassisted), 42:19
Fouls: Elyria Catholic 7, Vermilion 6
Corner kicks: Elyria Catholic 4, Vermilion 1
Goalies: Elyria Catholic – Cameron Resor (5 shots, 4 saves); Vermilion – Claudia Wilson (15 shots, 15 saves)