Monday, October 29th, 2007
By Robb Hemmelgarn
St. Marys beaten 1-0 by Bryan in the district final
ELIDA - For the first 19 games of the soccer season, the St. Marys girls piled up wins like the New England Patriots.
Tasting defeat just once this fall, the Roughriders grew accustomed to their victory celebration.
That's what made their loss to Bryan in Saturday's Division II district final so difficult to absorb.
A goal by the Bears in the middle of the first half proved to be the detriment to St. Marys, which closed the season with an 18-2 mark after the defeat.
"After our loss to Celina earlier in the season, the kids got in their mind that they didn't want to go through that again, so obviously today's loss is very disappointing," commented Roughrider head coach Paul Dingledine. "I have been very proud of our senior leadership all season and today was no different. Our seniors are going to be missed, but we hope the experience we gained from this season helps our underclassmen to work hard in the off season and we can get here again next season."
The first half kicked off with Bryan on the offensive from the initial gun. The Bears fired 13 shots on goal in the opening 40 minutes. Roughrider goalie Macy Ferrall corralled the brunt of those attempts, but at the 24:55 mark, Katrina Geesey hooked one past Ferrall to put the Bears ahead 1-0.
While the majority of the opening half was played on the Roughriders' end of the field, they turned up their offensive aggression in the closing minutes, but were unable to capitalize in the scoring column.
"We knew coming into the game that Bryan was a very solid team and we expected a challenge," explained Dingledine. "I felt for the most part, we matched up with them well. Their girl got a nice foot on the ball in the first half and picked up the goal. There wasn't a lot we could do about that, but I never dreamed at that point that the score would be enough to beat us."
The second half opened with the wind to St. Marys' back and Mother's Nature's advantage was evident from the start. The Bears were dropped back into a "prevent" defense and St. Marys kept the action on Bryan's side of the field.
Bryan showed little interest in extending its command, as they didn't attempt a shot on goal until the 15:00 mark of the half. On the other hand, St. Marys attempted eight kicks to the net, only to have each one gobbled up by the Bears' goalie.
"I told the girls at halftime, that we have the wind in the second half and it is our turn to take advantage of it," said Dingledine. "They scored a goal in the first half and we wanted to come out and answer it. Bryan did a good job of shutting us down in the second half though, and they deflected everything we kicked at them on goal."
As the final minutes slid from the clock, so did the Roughriders' chances for victory. Bryan merely played keep-away for the final two minutes, and St. Marys was denied the chance to advance to the Tiffin Regional.
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