Kelsey Shaffer of Spencerville kicks the ball past Annika Winker of LCC in Tuesday’s game at Ottoville. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)
Kelsey Shaffer of Spencerville kicks the ball past Annika Winker of LCC in Tuesday’s game at Ottoville. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)
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OTTOVILLE — The Lady Bearcats punched their ticket to the District Finals with a 3-0 win over Lima Central Catholic. Kelsey Shaffer had two goals in the first half and helped lead Spencerville past the T-Birds.

The first 20:00 of the game was uneventful with only a few shots on goal for both teams. Megan Latham had an early opportunity for LCC but was rejected by Bearcat goalie Kottia Williams. The T-Birds had trouble all night around the net as Williams racked up her tenth shutout of the season.

With 13:54 left in the first half, Shaffer took a pass from Emma Leis and broke the scoreless deadlock with her first goal of the game. The T-Birds had five chances at the goal before the half but the Spencerville defense was on point, blocking everything that came their way.

“Defense wins championships,” said Lady Bearcat head coach Kathy Goecke. “This is the 15th game we have allowed a point or less. Speed is our advantage and we are working on our technical skills and hit some more feet. We started off slow but Kelsey found room and got things going for us.”

Shaffer put the ball in the right side of the net with under six minutes in the first half to extend Spencerville’s lead to 2-0. Leis earned her 20th assist for the year that set up Shaffer’s goal.

The score held at 2-0 in favor of the Bearcats as the first half ended.

The T-Birds had several opportunities in the second half but failed to capitalize again. At the 26:23 mark of the second half, Leis had a ball that appeared to be blocked by LCC goalkeeper Kitt Siatkosky. The ball was stopped short but her hand was over the line and after a short conference by the officials, it was ruled a goal.

The shot by Leis made it 3-0 and gave the Lady Bearcats a huge boost of momentum. Annika Wilker had three shots on goal in the final 10:00 of play but were saved by Williams and Spencerville held on for a 3-0 victory.

The Bearcats will play Kalida on Saturday for the District Title at 5 p.m. in Ottoville.