By Gary R. Rasberry
The Celina Bulldogs girls soccer team took just eight shots on goal, but scored four times as keepers Laura Kuhn and Allison Braun kept Toledo Central Catholic scoreless in a 4-0 win on Saturday morning at the Soccer Stadium.
The win puts Celina at 11-2-1 on the season, and it's the 10th shutout for the Bulldogs this season. The Irish fall to 7-6-2.
It took a spectacular shot to get the Bulldogs heated up on a chilly day. Heidi Schollmeier went to the left side to fire a corner kick. Schollmeier let the ball fly and put a tremendous bend on the ball putting it past TCC keeper Katie Heltman and into the goal with 32:24 left in the first half.
"That was just one of those outstanding banana-type kicks and it went into the backside of the goal," said Celina coach Cal Freeman. "(The goal) got the team motivated."
The Bulldogs waited until the latter portion of the half to go up 2-0. Schollmeier again tried the corner. The ball did not hook this time, but Liz Klosterman was on the spot to put the ball in for a goal. "The mometumn changed," said Freeman. "We continued to control a lot of the play at midfield, which is something we've worked on."
TCC tried to step up its play in the second half, taking 11 shots on goal in the final 40 minutes (16 total in the match). But Braun, who came in as keeper in Celina's platoon system with Kuhn, was up to the task and made some big saves, including one in the final two minutes that looked to be a goal, only to have Braun push it out and force the corner. Braun made six saves while Kuhn made three saves in the first half.
"Once again, our keepers have been fantastic," said Freeman. "Jenna Schmitmeyer, being our sweeper, had another fantastic game. You can't say enough about our defense."
Celina got a couple of more players in the scoring section in the final 20 minutes of play. Courtney McKirnan dribbled in against Heltman and put a shot past the keeper with 17:41 left in the game. Almost nine minutes later, Celina was on the attack again. Cayla Hellwarth was on target with a rebound kick with 8:48 left in the match to make it 4-0.
Klosterman nearly had a two-goal day in putting one in with three minutes left, but Celina was offsides, negating the goal.
"We picked up both ends of our game," said Freeman. I'm very proud of the girls. They continue to play hard. You continue to see improvements and they deserve another slap on the back. We have one more at home. Hopefully, we'll stay undefeated at home."
Celina hosts Wapakoneta on Tuesday, then wrap up the season the next day with a makeup game at St. Marys. The St. Marys match is slated to start at 4 p.m.