Senior forward Jami Pfeifer scored one minute, 36 seconds into the first sudden victory overtime period Tuesday night to give Mason a 1-0 win against Pickerington North at Miami Valley South Stadium and send the Comets to the Division I state soccer finals for the first time in school history.
Pfeifer scored her 18th goal of the season with a blast from the right side about 15 yards away from the goal. The ball got past Pickerington North goalie Heather Laeufer in an instant and handed the Panthers (19-1-2) their first loss of the season.
“I was getting stormed by my team and the ball was in the net,” said Pfeifer. “I saw the ball go in, then my mind went blank and I just fell to the ground.
“I wasn’t sure where it was going. I was in the moment and it’s one of those things where you don’t know how it happens, it just happens.”
Mason will take its 20-1-1 records into Friday’s 7 p.m. state championship game at Columbus Crew Stadium against No. 1-ranked Perrysburg (22-0). The Comets were unranked in the final state coaches’ poll but in this tournament they have now beaten three ranked teams (No. 11 Troy, No. 7 Centerville, No. 5 Pickerington North) and avenged their lone loss of the season against Ursuline in the regional final.
Mason was making its first appearance in the state semifinals while Pickerington North was in its third state tournament. The Panthers were state runners-up in 2010.
Pickerington North had beaten No. 2 Dublin Coffman and No. 8 Dublin Jerome 1-0 each in its regional tournament. The regional final against Jerome went to two overtimes.