Schnarr's game-winning goal secures title

Photos by Marlena Sloss/The Herald
The Jasper girls soccer team hoised Kimber Schnarr into the air after she scored the winning goal in Saturday's sectional championship in Jasper. Jasper defeated Washington 1-0. For more photos from the game, click here.

By BRENDAN PERKINS
Special to The Herald

JASPER — Kimber Schnarr looked like a living version of the surprised face emoji.

When describing her goal that elevated Jasper’s girls soccer team to the program’s fourth sectional title, Schnarr’s eyes widened. Her mouth hung open. She put both hands on the side of her face in shock. The Wildcat senior couldn’t shake that expression of "did that really just happen?"

On a night when every other scoring chance fizzled and the Cats looked destined for yet another scoreless struggle against Washington, one of the unlikeliest sources was Jasper’s salvation.

“I’m pretty sure that’s my second goal of the season. That’s another reason that it’s like a big deal.

Right spot, right time,” Schnarr said after her rebound goal with 1:59 to play nudged Jasper past Washington 1-0 in Saturday’s Class 2A sectional championships at the JHS Soccer Complex.

“We always talk about crashing the goal, but when it actually goes in, especially in a big game like this, it makes you feel so happy that you can’t even explain it.”

Jasper (10-7-2) was nearing 240 consecutive scoreless minutes against Washington (8-11) counting their prior two matches — both 1-0 victories for Washington, including one in last year’s sectional.

The score flipped this time, but the plot was much the same: the Cats generated chances galore, with some veering high or wide and Washington goalkeeper GiGi Revolorio smothering the rest.

Just two minutes in, Revolorio rushed out for a sliding save of a prime look by Kara Krueger at the top of the box. A handful of give-and-go combos between Regan Mundy and Krueger ended up pinging off the crossbar or cradled by Revolorio. The Hatchet keeper stretched to tip away Kylee Vaal’s clean look in the final minutes. At one point in the second half, the Cats got three good looks in the same sequence but were denied each time.

As Revolorio logged 10 saves in the second half alone, Jasper senior Lexie Jerger admitted feeling skeptical about the Cats’ chances of solving Washington’s last line of defense.

“We could have 40 shots on goal, but she’s so good,” Jerger lauded. “I’ve never seen a better goalie.”

Jasper's Regan Mundy talks to Kara Kruger during Saturday's girls soccer sectional championship in Jasper. Jasper defeated Washington 1-0. For more photos from the game, click here.

All the while, Jasper coach Michael Donato issued a reminder.

“The balls were getting through. You’ve made it through 10 players, so you’re doing something right to that point,” Donato said. “We just kept telling them, ‘You just have to keep doing it, and at some point it’ll get through.’”

With the clock dwindling in regulation, it did.

Another Mundy-to-Krueger connection ended with Revolorio managing another leaping save. But with Revlorio out of position and the deflection landing at Schnarr’s feet, she looped in a game-winner that launched the Cats into hysterics.

“I started seeing stars in my eyes from screaming so loud,” Jerger said with a laugh. “I was about to pass out from screaming so loud.”

The decisive goal was electrifying in itself, but considering the source, the Cats agreed it meant a little extra.

“You see someone who’s working their butt off every day and doesn’t get the credit from scoring the goals, but Kimber’s the person who passes the ball along to the person who assists Kara,” Mundy said. “It’s just awesome for her to have the chance to have that. It was the happiest moment.”

Added Donato: “If anybody deserved the goal tonight it was Kimber, because the last three games she’s stepped it up so much and is playing the best she’s ever played.”

The Cats return to their home field for Saturday’s regional, facing off with 11th-ranked Northview (17-1) at approximately noon in the second semifinal. And now, a Wildcat team that won just twice in its first 10 matches this season has three consecutive shutouts, a second sectional crown in the last three years, and a whole lot more conviction.

“It’s amazing, because at the beginning of the season we went off slow and then we started to gather ourselves,” Mundy said. “Now that we just won sectional, it’s amazing to see how far we’ve gone and connected with everyone.”

Jasper's Emma Shelton, right, Olivia Meyer, Kimber Schnarr, Ashley Ortiz, Heather Gudorf, Brooke Nottingham, and sophomore Grace Weidenbenner celebrate after Saturday's girls soccer sectional championship in Jasper. Jasper defeated Washington 1-0 and Kimber Schnarr scored in the game's final minutes. For more photos from the game, click here.



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