Against SCC on Friday, the Yellowjackets (16-2-1) established early on that this game would be nothing like the 1-1 tie in the teams’ regular-season meeting Sept. 24 at Wright National Soccer Campus.
OHS easily could have scored two or three goals in the first half. It wound up with one, that coming 5 minutes, 19 seconds into play.
Ruff took a throw-in near the end line on the right side. It went deep in the box and Saints goalie Jessica Walter appear to have it lined up. She reached up, but the ball deflected off of her hands and toward the far post. Picinich was there to line it inside the near post.
“I wanted to make sure my hips were in the right position, so I could drive it through,” Picinich said. “Taylor (Hitchcock) was in perfect position, too, and they had to put someone on her, so that left me wide open. It was a great throw from Mar, though. She’s insane.”
Three other great opportunities weren’t converted by OHS in the opening 40 minutes, the best coming when Ruff set up for a free kick near the right sideline, about 8 yards from the end line with 101/2 minutes left. Ruff lofted a shot that deflected off the left post, then across the goalmouth before hitting off the right post. Walter then smothered the loose ball about 6 inches in front the line.
Brieanna Baker and Mallory Herrick also had good looks, with Baker missing just wide of the right post 10 ½ minutes into play and Herrick’s shot going just wide of the left post about seven minutes later.
“It probably could have been 2, 3, or 4 to nothing,” said Mackey, whose team beat the Saints, 3-0, in the 2011 Class B final and 4-0 in overtime last season.
Instead, it was nearly 1-1 at halftime. The Saints attempted two shots all night, but one of them nearly resulted in a goal.