UNION TOWNSHIP | Aggression and finesse led Hanover Central to its first sectional championship in school history.
Blayr Poston, the aggressive half, and Kirsten Nirtaut, the finesse half, each scored goals in the Wildcats' 2-1 win over host Wheeler in a Class A sectional title game Saturday night.
Hanover Central advances to the Argos Regional on Saturday.
"There's such a difference in style," Hanover coach Jim Pattison said. "One is all bull and rush and aggression, and the other one is finesse. The two of them together, that combination is hard for people to defend.
"As soon as they think they have the finesse player stopped, here comes the other one 100 miles an hour running past you. That combination together, they put a lot of goals in the net."
Nirtaut, who scored five goals in the sectional semifinal, tallied the game-winner in the 64th minute. She moved the ball down the far sideline, split a pair of Wheeler defenders and put a shot in from 14 yards out between keeper Christina Gandy and the post.
Gandy came off her line a few yards in front of the goal to try and prevent Nirtaut from getting a shot.
"The way she scored it, especially from my angle, it was beautiful," Pattison said. "She made a move around the defender and then made another move and then beat the keeper on the small side."
Poston put the Times No. 9 Wildcats (15-1) up 1-0 in 20th minute, when she put her own rebound past Gandy. Samantha Bathurst played a ball ahead to Poston. Her initial shot from six yards was saved, but Gandy couldn't control the rebound, and Poston tapped it in for the score.
"They passed it in, and I tried to kick it," Poston said. "It fell out of the goalie's hands, and I just followed the shot and made it."
Alexa Fratzke tied the game for Wheeler (11-7-1) on a breakaway in the 46th minute. Wildcat keeper BK Sakelaris made the initial save, but Haley Lovison kept the ball alive and got it to Fratzke, who put it past Sakelaris.
"It was huge," Wheeler coach Vangel Nacovski said. "I challenged the girls to see if they could come and get a goal in the first 10 minutes (of the second half), and they responded, and they put themselves back in the game."
Sakelaris made seven saves for the Wildcats, who had a 16-8 edge in shots on goal.
"They had a chance or two, and they finished them, and we had a couple of chances we didn't finish, but that's how these games go," Nacovski said.
Gandy made 14 saves, one coming on a Bathurst penalty kick in the 88th minute to keep Wheeler's deficit at one.
"The girls worked so hard," Pattison said. "I'm proud of them. It's going to be nice to see (the sectional championship) on the wall in the hallway."