The Lady Blue Devils (13-3-1) advanced to a 5 p.m. semifinal match today at Richlands. Gate City will take on Wise Central, which defeated Marion 2-0 in their quarterfinal.
The Lady Blue Devils struck first in the 14th minute when Callie McMurray took a cross from Abby Williams and buried the shot in the back of the Lady Pioneers’ net.
That goal stood up for the remainder of the first half. Gate City did not allow Lebanon (9-8-2) any shots on goal, and Lady Blue Devils center midfielder Caroline Dishner took control of the center of the pitch and would not allow Lebanon to build its attack.
View the photo gallery from the match
“That’s always something we key on,” Dishner said. “We try to work the ball out of the middle and to the outside.”
In the 56th minute, Gate City freshman Grace Mullins scored what proved to be the game winner on a brilliant run down the right side. She cleared the last Lebanon defender and fired a low shot that slipped under the diving goalkeeper.
With time running down, the Lady Pioneers finally broke into the scoring column off a corner kick from Andrea Meade. Meade’s placement landed in a crowd of players, and Lebanon’s Kalina Willis was the first one to get a boot on the ball. Willis’ shot found net and the deficit was 2-1 with six minutes left in the match.
The Lady Blue Devils were determined not to let the game get away from them, however.
“When they scored, that got our attention,” McMurray noted. “We knew we had to keep our heads in the game.”
Lebanon continued to press the issue, but to no avail. Gate City turned back every threatening ball.
“We put the pressure on late but by then we were battling the clock as much as Gate City,” said Lebanon coach Brian Dillon.