TAMPA — Wharton goalkeeper Heather Montgomery was bombarded by a heavy Plant attack Wednesday. She accepted the challenge, stopping 14 shots and leading the Wildcats to a 1-0 upset victory in the 6A-8 semifinals.
“I had to do what I had to do,” Montgomery said. “It’s my job as a goalie to make the saves.”
Wharton has won nine straight games, all shutouts. The Wildcats forced the Panthers into bad shooting situations the entire game.
“One of our goals was to keep them on the outside and force them to take shots from 30 yards out,” Wharton coach Denis Vukorep said. “(Montgomery) stepped up.”
Plant outshot Wharton 22-7, but that didn’t stop the Wildcats. Playing on an injured ankle, Fallon Vaughan blasted a shot from 20 yards in the 65th minute for the game’s only goal.
Plant’s Kaitlyn Steckel had a clean look at the net in the 70th minute, but Montgomery was there to swallow the ball up.
“There was no panic set in at any moment,” Vukorep said. “Plant was coming at us, but we continued to play our game.”
Bloomingdale defeated Alonso 2-1 in the early semifinal. Annie Barrett broke a 1-1 tie at the 66th minute mark.