It was a slow-rolling ball the Montoursville girls were forced to stare at in disbelief as it crept inside the near post for a goal.
It was just moments after Selinsgrove, a team Montoursville beat twice in the regular season, dissolved a one-goal lead thanks to a Lacey Trautman effort. The painfully slow shot proved to be decisive for the Seals, who avenged the two losses by eliminating the Warriors with a 2-1 win in the opening round of the District 4 Class AA playoffs.
After a scoreless first half, Montoursville appeared to gain the edge with an aggressive surge to open the second half. Lana Spitler, who pushed the Warriors' offense throughout the contest, broke through when she forced a 1-on-1 matchup against the keeper.
The breakaway was easily finished by Spitler, who sent the ball into the middle of the net for a one-goal advantage.
"She's had a great season," Montoursville coach Erin Bennett said of Spitler. "She's just such a great team player and always wants the best for her teammates."
The one-goal lead failed to hold up as Trautman pushed a goal in on a rebound in front of the net. Trautman was a constant threat all night and made the Warriors' back line work to keep within one goal.
"The team played hard," Bennett said. "We're all disappointed when we lose, but they put in a great effort. It's not like I have to go back and tell the team you didn't work hard enough. That's not the case."
Nicole Krebs gave the Seals the lead for good when she connected with the slow shot to beat the keeper, advancing Selinsgrove to face No. 1 seed Central Columbia.
No. 5 Selinsgrove 2, No. 4 Montoursville 1
M-Lana Spitler (unassisted), 62:20; S-Lacey Trautman (unassisted), 64:28; S-Nicole Krebs (unassisted), 70:04.
Shots: S 9 M 11. Shots on goal: S 4 M 6. Corners: S 2 M 4. Saves: S (Jessica Lawton) 3 M (Ally Yoccum) 2. Fouls: S 11 M 16.
Next: Selinsgrove D4 AA playoffs TBA.