The Triad Knights matched Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin's second-half determination and advanced in the playoffs Tuesday.
Junior Kailey Duncan scored from junior Amy Onesky in the 46th minute to give the Knights a 1-0 victory over the Cyclones in the semifinals of the Class 2A Chatham Glenwood Sectional. It was Duncan's 11th goal of the season.
"They were kind of pressing," Knights coach Matt Bettlach said of the Cyclones. "We had a ball out of our backfield, and Amy Onesky played a great ball over the top and Kailey took the girl one-on-one.
"She made a 15-yard run before she got into the box with the ball; it was a great run. She had the sweeper backpedaling, and that's what you want to do.
"The first half, we kind of controlled the play. They really weren't dangerous in the first half. They had a couple of point-blank situations they just missed (in the second half). We'll take it. Our kids finally settled down."
Sophomores Skye Clark and Gabby Kayser shared the shutout in goal for Triad (15-5-5), which will meet Chatham Glenwood in the championship game at 5:30 p.m. Friday. The Titans defeated Carbondale 3-2 in the other semifinal match.
"It's Friday night and it's at Chatham," Bettlach said. "They had a nice crowd for (Tuesday's) game. They're going to be ready to play. They've had our number the last few years. They reload every year.
"This is why we play the bigger schools. Collinsville and Edwardsville were probably two of our toughest games --and Rockwood Summit. This will be a very close match, kind of like with those teams. We're expecting a great game. We know they're going to come out and play hard."
Contact reporter David Wilhelm at email@example.com or 239-2665.