VALPARAISO | Wheeler and Rensselaer came out in a defensive stand in the second day of the Valparaiso girls soccer sectional.
Wheeler shutout was the difference in a 2-0 win for the Bearcats. Wheeler will meet Boone Grove, which defeated the Hebron 5-0 for the Wolves seventh shutout of the season.
In the opener, Bomber goalkeeper Lexah Gagnon had two shots come at her in the beginning of the second half, after taking a 0-0 tie into halftime. When both shots deflected off the crossbar, Gagnon was able to keep the Bearcats from scoring.
Seven minutes into the second half, Wheeler's Kaylin Foster broke the tie on a penalty kick as the ball skirted past Gangon to the left side of the net.
Foster said the moments leading up to the kick were full of ‘suspense'. "I placed the ball where I wanted it," she said.
Rensselaer (4-11-1) had a few opportunities to score, but Bearcats goalkeeper Christina Gandy held on for the shutout.
"We had some missed opportunities," Bomber coach Ernest Watson said. "They did a good job (during the season), and I'm happy to be their coach."
Wheeler (12-1-3) added another goal by Brooke Hutchins with five minutes to go in the game to put away the win for the Bearcats.
Wheeler coach Todd Syren, in his first year coaching the Bearcats was pleased with his defense.
"They maintained everything really well," he said. "When the defense has a better chance, we can win."
The Bearcats will play Boone Grove in the sectional semifinal on Thursday.
Mackenzie Starcevich got the high-scoring game started for Boone Grove (14-1-1) as she scored in the fifth minute of the game. Paige Aguilera added another goal with 14 minutes remaining in the first half, giving Boone Grove a 2-0 lead going into half time.
Starcevich and Aguliera finished with two goals each, while Olivia McCafferty scored the final tally with 18:57 left to play.
"We'll have to play our A game on Thursday," Wolves coach Chad Roggow said.