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Villa Joseph Marie stymied by goalkeeper in state final

The first time Emma Shimek made her presence known Saturday morning was just six minutes into the contest. The keeper for Villa Maria of Erie made a big save on a shot that would have put the Villa Joseph Marie soccer team up a goal in the state championship.

The first time Emma Shimek made her presence known Saturday morning was just six minutes into the contest. The keeper for Villa Maria of Erie made a big save on a shot that would have put the Villa Joseph Marie soccer team up a goal in the state championship.

A goal then would have been a game-changer. A momentum shift. A goal that early in the same game between the same teams proved to be the difference last year.

The next time Shimek came up big was as the first half was winding down. The decisive and aggressive goalie came off her line to stop an absolute blast.

Two more clutch moments presented themselves for the senior captain in the second half, and as a result, her team came out on top of Villa Joseph Marie, 1-0, in the PIAA Class AA final at Hersheypark Stadium.

"She did have a very good game," Jems junior forward Murphy Agnew said. "She's a very good player and then we didn't put our chances away."

VJM (18-5) had the better of play for most of the game, but especially in the first half, when they peppered Villa Maria (23-0-2) with shots on goal.

"There were a couple of those - two or three in the first half. If we had put them away it would have been a different game," Agnew said.

After being unable to capitalize on scoring chances, the Jems gave up an early second-half goal, when Kylie Frantz let one go from about 30 yards out. The shot was high and sailed into the back of the net.

It was the only goal the Jems conceded in six playoff games.

"I thought we were the better team today, we just came up short on the score," coach Rich Finneyfrock said. "That's soccer. Sometimes the best team doesn't win. If you are going to play the game you have to get used to that."

Villa Joseph Marie 0 0 - 0

Villa Maria (Erie) 0 1 - 1

Goal: VM-Kylie Frantz

Saves: VM-Emma Shimek 9; VJM-Gretchen Frantz 1.

rallysports@phillynews.com