St. Ursula s Krystin Miller, left, tries to control the ball as Ashland defender Jamie Blair arrives to play defense, along with an unidentified teammate.
TIFFIN The St. Ursula soccer team got a dose of its own medicine in its Division I regional semifinal match at Frost-Kalnow Stadium last night.
And the taste was bitter, as Ashland scored three goals in the first 30 minutes of the first half and held on to claim a 3-2 victory.
A lot of credit to Ashland for getting off to a fast start, St. Ursula coach Bruce Peterson said. They were flying at us, and we made three mistakes that cost us dearly. We had three plays where we lost our marks and they punished us for them.
They really took it to us. We dug ourselves a hole and couldn t get out of it.
Ashland, playing in its first-ever regional match, is 16-3-2, while St. Ursula finished its season 12-9.
Ashland drew first blood on a seemingly innocent play early in the contest. Ashland s Chelsea Smetzer curved the ball into the St. Ursula box, where it went off the head of St. Ursula s Ellie Reinbrecht into the back of the goal just 2:16 into the match.
Ashland made it 2-0 at the 18:42 mark when Nichole Arthur sliced a corner kick into the middle of the St. Ursula box and Katie Krisko s header beat SUA goalkeeper Courtney Cobb.
Ashland scored again fewer than seven minutes later when Rachel Phillip dribbled the ball down the left side of the pitch, then sent a beautiful shot into the opposite corner of the net from 20 yards out.
They came out really hard and they were pressing us from the beginning, St. Ursula senior Lizzie Traudt said. That s what we like to do to other teams. After the first goal, we were saying, No more.
After three, we had to dig deep.
St. Ursula practiced at the Glass Bowl Monday and on the school parking lot Tuesday to get a feel for playing on turf. Peterson said Ashland s speed and aggressiveness, not the turf, was the key to his team s slow start.
We got back on our heels a little bit instead of playing our normal attacking game, he said. We played a little more defensively than we should have. They definitely took it to us in those first 15 minutes.
St. Ursula got back into the contest with 4:25 left in the opening half when junior Krystin Miller scored on a penalty kick.
We felt that when we got that penalty kick we could come back, Peterson said. I thought our kids were energized at the start of the second half. There was a big difference, and we capitalized.
St. Ursula cut the Ashland lead to a single goal with 22:30 left in the period. Junior Amanda Bachmayer was 30 yards away from the goal when she found sophomore Alyssa Niese on the opposite side of the field 20 yards away.
Niese then crossed up Ashland keeper Lauren Lucas with a low shot that found the far left corner of the net.
St. Ursula came close to tying the game at the 22:30 mark of the half, but a foul negated a potential goal. In the final minutes Ashland regained its aggressiveness and never allowed St. Ursula another chance.
We knew they were going to be an aggressive team, Peterson said. We knew about their system of play, and we knew they were highly skilled.
They are a good team, and they deserved the win based on what happened in those first few minutes.
Contact John Wagner at: email@example.com or 419-724-6481.