BERWICK – After a slew of close misses, it just seemed destined that Karleigh Hartman was going to finally find net.
It took 63 minutes for the senior forward to finally find the ball in the goal. And she had her head turned away from the goal when it went in.
Hartman scored the game's lone goal to lead Berwick to a 1-0 victory over Lake-Lehman Thursday in the District 2 Class 2A semifinal.
She's relentless, Berwick coach Paul DiPippa said. She plays with this urgency. Everyone needs someone like her on their team to put the ball on the net.
Top-seeded Berwick advances to the district championship at 3 p.m. Saturday at Wilkes University in Edwardsville. The Bulldogs (17-0) look for their third consecutive district title against second-seeded Scranton Prep after the Classics' 4-0 win over Dallas. Lehman ended its season at 13-4.
The victory secures Berwick a spot in the state championship. A win Saturday will give Berwick a home game against a District 11 opponent, while a loss would send them to the District 3 winner.
Hartman headed a Karen Boone cross on the back of her cranium in the 63rd to erupt the Bulldog bench at Crispin Field with a 1-0 Berwick lead.
They were doing a really nice job of packing the middle, DiPippa said. So our strategy was to work the ball outside in. And that's how we scored. We made them come outside, and that's what worked for Karleigh.
Hartman came inches away on several occasions with no avail. She hit the bottom of the cross bar in the 43rd minute.
In the 52nd, a bad hop evaded the Lake-Lehman goalkeeper Amelia Jenkins' hands, leaving Hartman alone with an open net in front of her. Hartman went wide left on a tough-angle shot.
The Black Knights lost to the Bulldogs by a 1-0 score for the second time in as many weeks.
Berwick made key adjustments at halftime to stymie a Lehman offense that was problematic to the Bulldog defense for the first 40 minutes. The Black Knights, led by offensive threats Shoshana Mahoney and Emily Sutton, were silenced in the second half and held to only two shots.
When you have Kelly Sheptock in the middle in the field, no one wants to take her one on one, DiPippa said. They just try to keep dropping balls back to their midfield. Nicole Taylor and Alex did a great job of keeping them outside the 18. Bridget Orlando and Olivia Seely did a great job of controlling the middle of the field.
Jenkins finished with 11 saves for the Black Knights.
Berwick 1, Lake-Lehman 0
Second half: 1. BER, Karleigh Hartman (Karen Boone), 63rd minute
Shots: LL 8, BER 17; Saves: LL 11 (Amelia Jenkins), BER 5 (Allison Rineheimer); Corners: LL 7, BER 7
Ashley Dunbar scored off of a pass from Ashley Strazdus but it was all the Mountaineers could put on the scoreboard in a loss to Scranton Prep in the semifinal round of the District 2 Class 2A playoffs.
Elana Falcone scored twice for Prep.
First half: 1. SP Jacquie Grahm 16th minute; 2. SP Elana Falcone 31st; 3. SP Bianca Charge 40th; Second half: 1. SP Falcone, 60th; 2. DAL Ashley Dunbar (Ashley Strazdus)70th.
Shots: DAL 8, SP 12; Saves: DAL 7 (Sydney Emershaw), SP 7 (Gracie Jenkins); Corners: DAL 1, SP 4.