The Upper Arlington High School girls soccer team battled through adversity Saturday in a 2-1 double-overtime victory over Dublin Coffman in a Division I district final at Wellington.
With 10 minutes, 18 seconds remaining in the second overtime, the Bears appeared to have scored past Coffman goalkeeper Katherine Carey. One of the referees even signaled that the goal was good. But it was determined that the Bears were offsides.
Just 20 seconds later, UA successfully engineered another dangerous opportunity that provided the winning goal as Gena Inbusch took a pass from Corinne Wulf and scored.
It gives the Bears three district titles in four seasons and sends them to a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Wednesday at a site to be determined against Dresden Tri-Valley or Marietta.
UA improved to 17-1-1 and Coffman finished 13-5-2.
"(The nullified goal) was the last thing we needed," Inbusch said. "Corinne Wulf just brought it down from the right and crossed it in to me. It obviously took some teamwork."
"If anything, I think it made us madder," coach Bob McGee said. "We really picked up our intensity after that. That whole thing just upset us."
UA took a 1-0 lead with 23:40 left in the first half when Michela Paradiso scored unassisted. The Shamrocks tied it with 8:59 left before halftime on a goal by Amber Kern.
Coffman failed to execute on the few chances it had throughout the second half. In the first overtime, neither team had many opportunities.
The Bears nearly ended the game one minute into the second overtime when a shot bounced over Carey's head, but a Coffman defender knocked it away just before it hit the back of the net.
UA had the wind at its back throughout the second overtime.
"I just told my kids that I'd be a lot happier if we'd won, but I couldn't be more proud of them," Coffman coach Michael Walker said. "We took the wind for the first overtime, but unfortunately they did a good job of hemming us in, and we were tired. One of my goals as a coach is not to underachieve, and to be here playing like this against the No. 1 team in the district says a lot."