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Medina falls to Anthony Wayne, 1-0, in D-I girls state soccer semifinal

The Plain Dealer  Cleveland logo The Plain Dealer Cleveland 11/6/2019 By Zachary Dzurick, cleveland.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Whitehouse Anthony Wayne held on to defeat Medina, 1-0, in the Division I girls soccer state semifinal game held at Cedar Point Stadium in Sandusky on Tuesday.

Anthony Wayne improved to 22-0. The Generals entered the game ranked second nationally in the FAB 50 rankings, fifth by MaxPreps and 14th by USA Today. This was Wayne’s first state tournament appearance.

After a scoreless first half, Anthony Wayne scored just 2:39 into the second half as senior Emily Gardner headed in senior Shelby Harrington’s corner kick. The goal was the first allowed by Medina in the 2019 postseason and the 95th scored by Wayne this season.

Medina’s first corner kick came with about 25 minutes left. Senior Haley Anspach, who had scored all four of Medina’s goals in their regional semifinal and final victories, nearly tied it but her shot just sailed over the crossbar.

Medina really pressured the Anthony Wayne defense late in the second half but Anthony Wayne goalkeeper Keaton Grabarczyk was up to the challenge. Grabarczyk made a save on Anspach with 18:42 left and came out hard to stop Anspach’s charge four minutes later. Wayne fought off several Medina rushes and Grabarczyk made a big save on Medina’s Meghan Heath with about nine minutes left.

With 1:30 remaining, Medina had a corner kick but Grabarczyk was able to punch the ball out.

This was the Bees’ ninth trip to the state tournament. Medina (17-3-2) won state titles in 1997 and 2009 and finished as runners-up in 1996.

Anthony Wayne will face Lakota West in the state championship game on Saturday 7 p.m. at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus.

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