Dakota Valley’s girls soccer team faced Groton Area in the first round of state playoffs Oct. 5, winning 1-0 on their home field.
Grace Bass was the one who found the back of the net to put the Panthers into winning position. With that win, the Panthers advanced to the state semi-final match against Tea Area Oct. 9.
The Panthers had previously beaten Tea Area Sept. 28 2-1 and played to a draw 2-2 Aug. 13.
The semi-final match, which was scoreless for 100 minutes of play, came down to penalty kicks, which the Panthers had prepared for during the last week of practice.
Dakota Valley senior goalie Ivey Winckler blocked a shot on the Titans, then she turned around and put her kick in the net to win the match.
The penalty kicks went to the seventh round, and the Panthers won the game 7-6. The Panthers shooting were Emma Deacon, Grace Bass, Ella Schmiedt, Ashlynn Stusse, Peyton Tritz, Izzy Linden and Winckler.
Dakota Valley will face defending champion West Central in the state championship match at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls Oct. 16. West Central has won 4 of the last 5 state championships since the sport became sanctioned.