Saturday’s District 2 girls soccer championship games all proved to be close matchups.
The four finals were each one-goal games with one going into overtime and another decided in the final minute of regulation.
Delaware Valley, Dallas, Holy Redeemer and Lakeland came away with championships, in Class 4A down through A, but it was not easy.
Lakeland was the only team to lead by more than a goal at any point during the day.
The Lady Chiefs, intent on avoiding a repeat of last year’s district final loss, held off visiting Montrose in the second half of a 2-1, afternoon victory in Class A.
A year ago, Lakeland was the Lackawanna League Division 2 champion with the help of two wins over Montrose, only to lose to the Lady Meteors when the teams met again in the District 2 final.
The Lady Chiefs have won their 15 straight in a streak that started with the first of this year’s three wins over Montrose.
“Last year’s district game really set us apart from everyone else in the district because it made us want to beat them more and gave us more energy to come out and play this season,” said Lakeland forward Nadia Gill, who leads the team with 44 goals.
Montrose held Gill without a goal, but she did manage to set up the game’s first score.
“Nadia pass it through,” said Abby Davis, who scored the goal. “I didn’t think I was going to get to it. It took a good bounce toward me and the goalie was coming up.
“She had good positioning, but I just got a foot on it and put it into the low right corner.”
Davis, coming off a hat trick in the semifinal, gave Lakeland the lead with 10:49 left in the half.
Joan Clauss-Walton made it 2-0 with another goal 4:07 before the break.
Montrose’s Tangi Smith made things interesting scoring midway through the second half to cut the lead to 2-1.
The Lady Chiefs held on from there to move into Tuesday’s Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association first-round tournament game against Moravian Academy at Moravian University.
Bella Granteed scored off a corner kick midway through the first overtime to lift Holy Redeemer over host Lake-Lehman, 2-1, in the Class 2A championship game.
The four finals featured four first seeds and three second seeds. The only exception was Holy Redeemer, which won the title as the third seed by beating the top two teams, Lake-Lehman and Wyoming Area, back-to-back.
Granteed converted a corner kick from Avery Chepolis into the winner.
The Lady Royals had scored first before the midway point in the second half.
Lake-Lehman’s Autumn Palko tied the game with less than seven minutes left in regulation.
The district title was the first in girls soccer for Holy Redeemer.
Holy Redeemer plays Allentown Central Catholic Tuesday at 5 against Catasauqua in the state opener.
Two of the four finals matched teams that are ranked in the top 10 in their classification by the Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association.
Lakeland was sixth and Montrose 10th in Class A in the final poll of the season.
Abington Heights entered the postseason ranked seventh, two spots in front of Dallas in Class 3A, but it was Dallas that came away with the victory on the road.
The Lady Comets, trying to go from sitting out a year ago to district champion this year, had the lead before Dallas rallied.
The Mountaineers tied the game on an own goal and won it, 2-1, in the final minute.
Elizabeth Viglone scored the winner with 26.6 seconds left off a Kira Pomrinke assist.
Lauren Lefchak scored for Abington Heights with 5:19 left in the half of an assist from Maggie Seechock.
Dallas hosts Northwestern Lehigh in Tuesday’s state opener.
Delaware Valley, ranked eighth in the state, shut out visiting Wyoming Valley West, 1-0, for the Class 4A title.
Kaitlyn Tants scored the game’s only goal in the first half. Sage Henry had the assist.
The Delaware Valley defense limited Wyoming Valley West to four shots and two corner kicks.
Delaware Valley hosts Nazareth Tuesday at 5 in the state opener.