Amanda Mladenovski scored both of Utica Ford II's goals Friday night to lead the Falcons past Utica 2-1 in a district final played at Fraser High School.
Mladenovski opened the scoring with 26:59 left in the first half, but the Chiftains went on to control much of the rest of the first half, and their efforts were rewarded by way of an Amy Misze goal that tied the game just less than four minutes before halftime.
Ford came out firing after the break, and after being stopped on several close chances, Ford took the lead with 6:22 left as Mladenovski received a long pass through the middle of the field before burying her shot in the top-left corner of the Utica net.
"At halftime, they found some confidence ... we stuck to our game plan with a little more intensity, and we were able to put a lot more pressure on them in the second half," Ford II coach Teri Steinwascher said.
Utica coach Dave Moran was proud of the way his team stood strong against Ford's offense in the second half.
"Ford was throwing everything at us. Their forwards were handling the ball well. There were three or four times that if we didn't get our foot in there, then they were finishing us off a lot sooner than they did," Moran said. "It was a monumental task for the defense, and I thought they held up pretty well for as long as they did."
Utica closes its season at 9-8-2. Ford (14-4-1) will play the winner of Royal Oak and Troy Athens in a regional semifinal at Sterling Heights Stevenson on June 4 at 7 p.m.