Eighty minutes of regulation couldn't decide whether Nashoba Regional would repeat as Central Mass. Division 1 champion or if third-seeded Algonquin Regional finally could topple the undefeated Chieftains. Ninety seconds into the first overtime, Nashoba's Kim Slade delivered some clarity for everyone — the reigning champions would remain with a 1-0 victory. After a full game's worth of spoiled opportunities, Slade's persistence finally paid dividends. She made an aggressive run into the box, latched onto the end of a deflected pass from Amber Gustafson, and — in a flash — one-touched a side-footed shot inside the left post for a moment of brilliance that decided the game. ‘‘I'm not going to lie, I was definitely nervous,'' said Slade, a captain. ‘‘Coach took me out a few minutes before the second half finished and she calmed me down, composed me. I looked around, saw my teammates and the leaders of our team, and I said, ‘I need to step it up here. Our team has to step it up here.''' ‘‘Kim gives that kind of effort every day, so I was so happy for her,'' longtime Nashoba coach Pam Vaughan said. ‘‘She finished it low, accurate, and that's a senior captain for you that doesn't just put it over the net. She made sure she executed and that's what you hope to get from a player like that in this big game, and she did it last year in the district finals, too, so I was really proud of her.'' After going undefeated in Central Mass. for a second straight season, the Chieftains (17-0-4) will play the Western Mass. champion, to be crowned Monday, in a state semifinal on Wednesday at Nashoba at a time to be determined.
Nashoba 1, Algonquin 0 (OT)
Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, at Bolton
Updated: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, 9:10 a.m.