QUINCY — It was only a matter of time.
After controlling the possession and outshooting Ursuline in a strong second-half effort, Austin Prep finally broke through in the 63d minute Tuesday when senior defender Jaclyn Paul tucked home a loose ball off a corner kick.
Paul’s goal broke a scoreless stalemate and led the Cougars to a 2-0 win in the EMass Division 4 girls’ soccer championship at Veterans Stadium.
“I could tell in the end we were going to score,” Paul said. “The ball came across and I just saw it and poked it.”
Sophomore Meghan Braciska added an insurance goal in the 75th minute.
Austin Prep (18-1-3) advanced to the state final against Sutton Saturday at 10 a.m. at Foley Stadium in Worcester.
The Cougars finally struck gold on their fifth corner kick of the game.
Senior Madison Shaw took the kick, crossing it into the box before it was knocked around. The ball squirted free and Paul found it 5 feet out, calmly sliding it into the back of the net.
“Jackie is so tall,” said Austin Prep coach Jessica Chiachio. “We usually keep her in there for [headers], so we moved her in and it obviously worked out well.’’
The Bears (14-5-4) nearly scored a few minutes later off a corner kick. The ball got knocked around in front of the net, but was cleared out.
“We just have a really strong defense,” Chiachio said. “We’ve been playing this way all year. We try to be controlled and stop it before it gets back there. The girls did a really great job with that.”
After a first half that featured mostly back-and-forth action in the midfield, the Cougars went into the break knowing what they needed to change in the second half.
“The girls came in at halftime and said, ‘We’re not playing our game, we’re all frazzled,’ ’’ Chiachio said. “So after that, we just adjusted, told them to calm down and play their game, and they obviously did.”