Saints make most of shots, Lytle’s late goal lifts Saint Louis to victory

Warren Arceneaux

Opportunistic St. Louis made the most of its infrequent scoring chances while snuffing out several Archbishop Hannan attacks to escape with a 2-1 win Tuesday in a Division III regional round soccer playoff game.

No. 6 St. Louis (13-2-8) advanced to face No. 3 St. Michael in the quarterfinals. St. Michael advanced with a 6-1 win over No. 14 Lusher Charter.

Jessica Lytle scored the winning goal with a few minutes left in regulation by sending a high, arching shot just under cross bar after a scramble following a Saints free kick.

“It was off a defender,” Lytle said. “I was just hoping and praying it went in.”

The Saints tied the score 10 minutes earlier on a free kick by Sarah Upshaw, who curled a shot into the upper-right corner from about 25 yards away.

No. 11 Archbishop Hannan (11-8) opened the scoring early in the second half when forward Logan Foster slotted home a cross from the left wing by Rachel Maestri.

The Hawks controlled play throughout the first half, generating a handful of scoring chances including a corner, free kick and three shots that just missed the target.

Saints keeper Emma Oertling made several saves in the second half as the Hawks continued to attack but to no avail, including a catch at the right post on a bending shot in the final minute of regulation.

“We knew from the beginning that they were a tough team and they were going to come at us,” said Saints head coach Rachel Yoder. “Our defense has held pressure all year. We knew they could do that. It was just a matter of taking advantage of the opportunities we had, which we did thankfully.

“I’m not entirely sure what happened on the winner. We had a free kick and it kind of bounced around. We attacked it, which we normally don’t do. Jess was able to put a foot on it, send it back towards the goal and that was all that it needed.”

Yoder said her team showed its toughness and work ethic.

“They have a never-say-die mentality,” she said. “They work hard all the time. It was a gritty 80 minutes. They just stayed with it and never gave up.”The Saints’ Mia Hanks heads the ball away from Archbishop Hannan’s Logan Foster as Gretchen Hanley watches Tuesday at St. Louis Catholic.

Rick Hickman / American PressThe Saints’ Jenna McNamara gets her foot on the ball in front of Archbishop Hannan’s Vivian Veillion during a Division III regional-round playoff game Tuesday at St. Louis.

Rick Hickman / American Press

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