First the lights went out at Christian Academy of Louisville, then Abby McGimsey turned the lights out on the Lady Centurions’ soccer season Monday night.
McGimsey’s goal – off a free kick from around 30 yards away – with 4 minutes, 31 seconds to play lifted Male to a 1-0 win over host CAL in the Seventh Region quarterfinals Monday.
“(From) about 30 yards out I’ll put my money on Abby McGimsey any day to score from there,” Lady Bulldogs coach Christian Lauria said. “She has a good clean strike on the ball. She was able to get that, stay composed and put it away.”
McGimsey’s goal put Male (15-6) into the Seventh Region semis, where it will take on top-ranked Sacred Heart at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday night at the Assumption Green. The Valkyries, who are No. 1 in the state according to the Maher Rankings, pummeled Presentation Academy 11-0 Monday night.
The second meeting this season between the Bulldogs and the Centurions was much closer than the first. Male, ranked No. 24 in the state, previously beat CAL 4-1 Aug. 25.
This matchup was a tale of two halves. The Bulldogs dominated possession and had a 5-1 shot advantage in the first half. However, after all the lights went out at CAL, 2:18 before intermission, it was the Centurions who seemed to gain energy from the 18-minute delay in play.
“Honestly I think it hurt us a little bit because our momentum was up, and when the lights went out we went down,” McGimsey, a senior midfielder/defender, said.
CAL (10-9), led by senior forward Haleigh Fortuna, went on the offensive in the second half, outshooting Male 6-2. Fortuna, who narrowly missed wide left with the Centurions’ only shot 8 minutes into first half, had five shots on goal in the second.
“They had a gameplan that really bothered us with the way they played in the back, they were numbers up in their defensive third on us,” Lauria said. “It took a while for us to figure it out but finally we were able to break through and get some opportunities.”
The biggest of those came on the heels of a CAL foul with just under 5 minutes to play that gave McGimsey her free kick.
“I’ve scored a few goals this year from about 30 yards out on free kicks. I don’t want to say I knew it was going to go in, but I knew there was a good chance of it going in,” she said of her sixth goal of the season. “And also, if it doesn’t go in I know that my team can follow the ball and hit it in.”
The Centurions tried but couldn’t muster a shot on goal after that.
“We had a really good opportunity in the first half, it could’ve been a difference maker,” CAL coach John Zutt said. “In the second half we competed and had some good chances and weren’t able to get one in. We knew it would probably come down to a play, possibly to a set piece, and those are tough, but that’s the game.”