Yu leads Walsh girls to state final four

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by Jim Isabella | Correspondent Often times sports fans will read about a superb athlete, but until you see one who can do things in person, you cannot appreciate it. Such a moment happened Nov. 3 as the Walsh Jesuit girls soccer defeated Canfield 3-0 in the Division II regional final at Brecksville-Broadview Heights. The win advanced Walsh to the Division II state semifinal game Nov. 6 at Sandusky Perkins. The Warriors faced a rematch of it 2011 state semifinal with Toledo St. Ursula, who defeated Walsh on penalty kicks (See story, Page 55). It was Walsh's second goal by senior forward Sandra Yu that was an eye-opener for the novice or expert fan or coach to watch. Leading 1-0, the Warriors (19-0-2) pushed the ball downfield. The ball bounced around and Yu took possession. Despite the fact there were two defenders ahead of her, Yu ran past both with the ball on the right side of the field. Suddenl,y all that was between her and the goal was Lady Cardinals goalkeeper Victoria Villano. Before the junior goalie could get in position, Yu smacked a ball that hugged the ground and hit just inside the left post. The goal gave the Warriors a 2-0 lead with 9:07 remaining in the first half and impressed everyone who witnessed it. "It was a typical Sandra Yu goal," Walsh coach Dino McIntyre said of the University of Notre Dame recruit. "She's ahead of time; she beat two girls to it and beat another one. If she waits another second, it is probably blocked; you can't teach that; you've got it from the get go and she has it. "She is like a lion; she is at the top of the hill. She was hurt last year. She is a coach on the field." Yu later set up the third goal, with a perfect crossing pass from the left side of the goal to a streaking Maddy John, who punched the ball in front of the goal for the 3-0 margin with 16:08 left in the match. The first goal of the match was a little lucky. According to McIntyre, the referee should have allowed Juli Knapp to kick the ball from the left corner, but instead Abbey Filicko had to take it. The sophomore midfielder ripped a ball that sailed over Yu, who was trying to head the ball in. "I hit it a little hard and it hooked into the goal," Filicko said of the goal that came with 24:37 left in the first half. "A lot of goals come off restarts; we want restarts," McIntyre said. "It is constant pressure and restarts make kids(on the other team) nervous." The Lady Cardinals(17-4) had come in on a roll, winning 13 of their last 14 and 10 straight. In those 10 games, the Cardinals posted shutout in eight games and outscored their opponents 53-2. In three of their losses, the Cardinals have lost by identical 3-0 scores. "We got on them pretty good. Their schedule is a little weaker and ours is a little tougher and it helps at this time of the year," McIntyre said. E-mail: stowsports@recordpub.com Phone: 330-541-9442

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