HUMBOLDT - The season coming to an abrupt end just wasn't what Molly Gilbert had in mind here last night.
So the Webster City junior went out onto the pitch and did something about it.
Gilbert did all of the scoring - her first hat trick of the season pushed her goal total up to eight - to power the Webster City girls' soccer team to a 3-2 victory over Humboldt in a Class 1A Region 3 quarterfinal contest. Winners of five straight matches, the Lynx (9-8) advanced to meet Clear Lake on Friday back in Humboldt at 6 p.m.
"(Last night) it was Molly stepping up to the front and the other players got (the ball) to her," WCHS head coach Paul Baedke said.
Humboldt (6-4) focused its defensive effort on Gilbert and senior Jesse Lee, who entered the postseason fifth in 1A in goals scored with 26, but WCHS was still able to find enough openings to prevail.
"They had a girl on both of them, plus a sweeper behind," Baedke said. "I had a couple of girls ask me how we were going to win this and I told them a girl at midfield was going to have to step up and make one of those (defenders) step up, and that happened."
Gilbert's first goal off a Sarah Paukert assist with 14:30 left in the first half put WCHS up 1-0 at the intermission.
Humboldt rallied with back-to-back goals in the 50th and 55th minutes to take a 2-1 lead.
Back came Gilbert though, first off a Lee assist in the 61st minute to tie the match, and she slammed in the unassisted game winner in the 63rd minute.
Both teams took 8 shots on goal. WCHS goalkeeper Maia Jaycox made six saves.
"The defense ran all over the place knocking the ball away from them," Baedke said.
Clear Lake beat WCHS 4-1 back on May 6 in Webster City. Lions' forward Logan Anderson scored four of her 14 goals this season in the win.
Friday's winner will move onto the regional final, set for Monday in Nevada. The opponent will likely be second-ranked and unbeaten Nevada.