The top-seeded Bexley High School girls soccer team beat Olentangy Orange 3-0 in a Division II district final Saturday at Dublin Scioto.
The Lions earned their fourth consecutive district title and improved to 20-2-1. They will play Middletown Fenwick at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Cedarville in a regional semifinal. Orange finished 13-5-2.
With 36 minutes, 44 seconds remaining in the first half, Orange keeper Kaitlyn Pearse appeared to be trying to freeze Bexley's Leah Levey before the Levey took a penalty kick. Pearse tied her shoes, then adjusted her gloves and knee guards.
When the time came, Levey calmly drove her shot into the lower right hand corner of the goal just outside of the outstretched arms of Pearse.
"I knew exactly what she was trying to do," said Levey, who added a second goal with 8:51 left in the second half. "We practice penalty kicks all the time. You pick a corner and you keep it on the ground. You can't miss."
The penalty kick, which came after Orange's Kristen Cunningham was called for an intentional hand ball, proved to be the undoing of the Pioneers. Cunningham was given a red card and Orange had to play the second half a player down.
"It changed what we wanted to do tremendously," Orange coach Jen Odebrecht said. "Playing a man down against a team as dominant as Bexley was a game changer. But I thought we actually played better when we were down a man."
"I don't know if they were playing with 10 men or 12 or 13 by the end of the game,' Bexley coach Scott Dempsey said. "They worked very hard to stay in the match."
The Lions got off to a quick start. Two and a half minutes into the game, Jessica Linger crossed a shot in front of Pearse and in the left corner to give Bexley a 1-0 lead.