LEXINGTON — An unlikely hero scored an impossible goal and boosted Madison to an improbable district championship Saturday afternoon at Lexington High School.
Senior Shannon Jamieson scored on a corner kick with 8:20 remaining in overtime to lift the second-seeded Rams to a 3-2 win over top-seeded Ontario in the Division II district final.
The Rams (11-9) won their fifth straight district crown but unlike the previous four, this one was unexpected. Madison lost eight starters off last year’s state championship team and spent most of the regular season trying to find its footing.
“We’ve got nine losses and we’re going to the regional semifinals,” Madison coach Zac Huff said. “Our first six games that we lost, we didn’t score a goal.
“The girls are coming together at the right time. That’s what it’s all about.”
Ontario (15-3-3) scored on Ava Ruhe’s penalty kick in the 26th minute after Madison’s Mylah Davis was called for a handball in the box. The Rams equalized with less than a minute to play in the first half when Nevaeh Lewis scored off a Marisah Atterholt assist.
“The goal right before halftime killed us,” Ontario coach Larry Atkinson said. “We preach to them time and score. A couple of people stabbed and we just got out of position.”
Lewis gave the Rams a 2-1 lead with 22:43 remaining in the second half with her second goal of the match, but the Warriors equalized less than two minutes later when Kyla Spencer knocked in a rebound after Madison keeper Morgan Rachel made a punch save. It would stay that way into overtime.
Jamieson’s game-winning corner kick came with 8:20 remaining in the first overtime period. Jamieson sent the ball high toward the goal and Ontario keeper Taylor Mullins couldn’t corral it until it crossed the goal line.
“Mainly I just want somebody to get a touch on it or a head on it. Just get it in the mix,” Jamieson said. “I was in shock, honestly.”
Madison will play Lima Shawnee in the regional semifinals at 7 p.m. Tuesday at a site to be determined. Shawnee beat St. Marys Memorial 1-0 in Wapakoneta on Saturday.
“We’re working as a team now and kind of finding our mojo,” Jamieson said. “We’re becoming better friends off the field which is obviously showing on the field.”
The loss brought an end to the high school careers of 11 Ontario seniors.
“It’s a large group and a special group. They’ve been through a lot,” Atkinson said. “They’ve worked their tails off for four years. It’s sad to see them be sad.
“It’s humbling, but hopefully they can learn from it and make them better people the rest of their lives.”