SPRINGFIELD — Sidney’s girls soccer team missed out on a Greater Western Ohio Conference divisional title this season. But conference titles aren’t too unusual — the program has won three since 2010 and has finished second four other times.
Tournament success has been rare. But thanks to a goal in overtime by Khia McMillen on Monday at Springfield High School, the Yellow Jackets are in a district final for the first time.
McMillen kicked the ball from the middle of a pile in front of the goal, and it spun across the goal line with 2:12 left in overtime to give Sidney a 2-1 win over Troy in a Division I sectional final.
The Yellow Jackets (14-2-2) earned a spot in a district final for the first time in school history with Monday’s win. They’ll face Loveland in a district final on Thursday night at Bellbrook.
McMillen was hit in the side of her head by a ball earlier in the match, and Sidney coach Kevin Veroneau credited McMillen for persevering and playing.
“She showed a lot of tenacity in being able to come back out and finish,” Veroneau said. “… She knew her team needed her and wanted to help, and she did.”
Troy beat Sidney 1-0 in a GWOC American North Division match on Sept. 20. The Trojans finished first in the league with a 9-1 record, while Sidney was second at 8-1-1.
“There was a lot of 50-50 plays in that game,” Veroneau said. “We had our chances but we couldn’t finish, and we made one mistake and Troy made us pay. We talked about finishing, and that’s something we did tonight.”
Sidney’s offense had the ball for most of the overtime but didn’t get a shot on goal until finally putting a ball in the box near Troy’s goal.
After Elaine Wiesenmayer kicked a pass to McMillen, she was able to fight off two Troy defenders and send a shot to the goal, which spun slowly across the artificial turf and sprayed off water from a hard rain storm that lasted most of the second half.
Both Sidney goalie Carly Dean and Troy’s Molly Miller had several saves in the first half. Dean finished with 10 saves, and Miller finished with seven.
Wiesenmayer scored the game’s first goal with 25:10 left in the second half. Sidney’s Emma Dahlinghaus kicked a long pass to Wiesenmayer from midfield while fighting off a Troy defender, who fell to the ground. Wiesenmayer made a sliding kick to score.
The goal was the 36th of the season for Wiesenmayer, who led all GWOC players in goals in regular season. Wiesenmayer drew much of Troy’s defensive attention in the game, and Veroneau credited McMillen for stepping up in overtime.
“We knew Elaine was going to get a lot pressure,” Veroneau said. “Teams know how good she is, and when they key on her, we tell the other girls to try to find openings. That’s something Khia has done before and she did a good job of that tonight.”
Sidney’s first goal seemed to spark Troy’s offense. The Trojans had the ball for most of the rest of regulation and scored with 16:06 to go on a penalty kick by Kenzie Evans. Evans was fouled 28 yards away from the Sidney goal and kicked a shot that arced over Dean’s head.
“We were able to respond after that,” Veroneau said. “We made a mistake there and Troy was able to capitalize, but we did a good job tonight of limiting our mistakes, which you have to do against good teams.”
The win was Sidney’s 14th of the season, which is the highest total in program history. The Yellow Jackets will play Loveland (17-1) at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Troy finished the season with a 12-5-1 record.
Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter.