Bidinotto’s goal in second OT lifts Cardinals over Blazers

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Canfield’s Bailey Fischer (20) slides into the kick against Hathaway Brown defender Veronica Guastella (19) during the first half the Division II regional soccer semifinal Thursday at Ravenna High School. Fischer scored during regulation play to send the game into overtime, then teammate Paige Bidinotto scored to give the Cardinals a 2-1 win.

Bidinotto’s goal in second OT lifts Cardinals over Blazers

By Greg gulas


Paige Bidinotto’s goal with 3:13 remaining in the second overtime helped lift the Canfield Cardinals to a 2-1 victory over Hathaway Brown in a Division II regional semifinal Thursday night at Ravenna High School’s Gilcrest Field.

The Cardinals will face Walsh Jesuit at 3 p.m. on Saturday in a regional final at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School.

The Warriors, ranked No. 1 in the state in Division II, advanced to the finals with a 2-1 victory over Rocky River on Wednesday.

“I was just looking for the backward cross and Elena Billy set me up perfectly,” Bidinotto said. “I took my time, just like in practice and was fortunate that the kick found its way to the back of the net.

“We started out flat, not intentionally, but after they scored less than a minute into the game we knew that we had to bear down and get to work. Hathaway Brown is an excellent team, so we knew that we couldn’t allow any more goals if we expected to win.”.

The Cardinals (17-3) entered the game with a nine-game win streak, posting eight shutouts during that span while outscoring their opponents 51-1.

When the Blazers’ Jordan Elhindi scored off of her own missed shot just 22 seconds into the game, Hathaway Brown’s 1-0 advantage marked the first time in the postseason that the Cardinals had trailed.

The goal also broke a 240-minute and 22-second scoreless streak by Canfield opponents in tournament play.

“After they scored the initial goal of the game I knew that I couldn’t let another shot get past me,” Canfield goalie Victoria Villani said. “It’s an amazing feeling to win a game of this magnitude and we’re all looking forward to a rematch with Walsh Jesuit.”

The Warriors defeated Canfield in a 2009 regional final and they also eliminated the Cardinals in a regional semifinal a year ago.

“Our goal at the start of the season was to get back to the regional championship game and then go beyond,” Canfield coach Phil Simone said. “There are no secrets between the two teams; we’ve seen them and they have seen us.”

Bailey Fischer knotted the score at 1 when her kick slipped past the outstretched hand of Blazers goalie Clair O’Brien at the 8:44 mark of the opening half.

“I got the ball down the line, planned on crossing but the ball hit my foot just right and I was able to get it into the net,” Fischer said.

The game remained tied at the end of regulation and through the first overtime period, until Bidinotto scored late in the overtime.

“We play possession and finesse soccer but that wasn’t our game tonight.” Hathaway Brown coach Carmen Ptacek said. “The ball took quite a few different bounces for both teams due to the surface and the weather, It’s extremely frustrating to lose because our goal was to get beyond the regional semifinals. We’re a young team with plenty of talent so we hope to be back again next year.”

The Blazers finished 13-5-2.

Hathaway Brown won Division II state titles in 2004and ’07 and was runnerup in 2’09 and ’10.

The Cardinals held a 17-10 shots on goal advantage, outshooting Hathaway Brown by a 7-0 count in the two overtime sessions.

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