Maddie Meckes and Molly Pittman each scored during a 12-minute span in the second half, and the Danville defense did the rest, limiting the Jumpers (10-9-1) to just eight shots.
Now, the Admirals will wait to see who they face next. Danville will play at the winner of tonight's North Laurel-South Laurel 16th Region title game next week in a sub-sectional game. Danville has wins over both teams, beating North Laurel 7-0 on Oct. 2 and South Laurel 3-0 on Oct. 4.
"This was our major goal this season, and we're looking forward to (next week), whoever we play," senior Molly Pittman said. "We just want to be progressing the season even further."
Passing makes the difference
After a scoreless first half, Meckes gave Danville the lead for good less than eight minutes into the second half. She took a pass from Pittman in the middle of the field, then launched a shot from about 25 yards out, which just got over the reach of Somerset goalie McKenzie Chadwell, for a 1-0 lead.
Meckes said the Ads concentrated on passing the ball better, not just taking shots, and it paid off in the second half. Danville finished with 23 shots.
"We just knew we needed to keep the ball on the ground and pass a lot more. Play more as a team instead of separately, with the forwards, midfields and defenders integrated as a team," she said. "And we just had to finish. We knew we had the opportunities, we just had to finish."
Pittman then gave Danville a seemingly insurmountable lead when she took Bethany Schulz's cross pass and rolled the ball into the bottom left side of the goal to make it 2-0 with 20:20 to play.
"We were definitely excited," Pittman said. "It kind of sealed the deal for us since it was late in the game."
The danger of 2-point leads
Meckes wasn't so sure, especially after the Jumpers had beaten Boyle 2-1. That got her attention.
"You can never think that. We always say a two-goal lead is the worst lead to have," the junior said. "You think it's in the bag, but it takes just one goal to make it close.
"We knew had to play, but we had it in our heads we were going to win."
Lauer seemed to have bit more confidence in a two-goal lead than Meckes.
"At one point in the second half, we were attacking, and I saw eight Somerset defenders back there, and I realized they're not going to be able to mount an attack on us," he said. "They were using all their energy to stymie our attacks."
And Somerset never really mounted a serious challenge against Danville's defense, being held to just two first-half shots. The Jumpers' best chance for a goal was nine minutes into the game, when Whitney Wallace got a one-on-one situation against Taylor Brown, but the Danville goalie made a diving save, one of her four on the night.
Danville meanwhile, had plenty of opportunities in the first half.
The Admirals had nine shots in the first 40 minutes, several in close, but none fell. Lauer thought it was just a matter of time before his team's depth would take affect.
"The first 10 minutes we could have been up one or two to nothing," he said. "They didn't have a lot of subs, where I liberally subbed. And part of our game all year is to use a lot of subs in the first half, where the other team may not have that many subs, and we can wear them down."
But Danville certainly didn't act like a team which had just won its first regional title in three years.
"I think they're probably tired. After Monday's game I just got six hours of sleep. So, I think it wears them down a bit," Lauer said. "I was excited."
All-Region Tournament Team
Erika Adams, Boyle County;
Devin Fothergill, Southwestern;
McKenzie Chadwell, Somerset;
Brittany Moss, Somerset;
Candace Mullins, Danville;
Maddie Meckes, Danville;
Molly Pittman, Danville.