SANDUSKY — Hoping to complete a boys-girls Division I regional soccer sweep Saturday, the Anthony Wayne girls fell short in their bid, falling to Rocky River Magnificat 3-1 in a regional final at Sandusky Perkins.
Off a corner kick from teammate Amy Rogozinski, Magnificat’s Alyssa Baumbick scored on a header from nine yards out with 27:57 left in the first half to provide the Blue Streaks (16-4-1) with their first goal.
Baumbick added what proved to be the game-winner on a direct free kick with 29:41 remaining, her 11th of the season.
“That was a great game by Magnificat for sure,” Generals coach Lori Williams said. “I thought they were fast everywhere on the ball. They moved the ball very well, and we struggled a little bit with seeing the second pass and taking away the next option. What a season. One game doesn’t define a season. You hate to lose, but you know only one team in the state is going to finish with a win in Division I, and unfortunately it’s not going to be us this year. It was a heck of a ride by these girls.”
Earlier in the day at Sandusky’s Strobel Field, the second-ranked Anthony Wayne boys advanced to Wednesday’s D-I semifinals by beating Medina 1-0.
The AW girls (14-4-2) were not as fortunate, running into a Blue Streaks squad that dominated play offensively from the outset, requiring Generals goalkeeper Taylor Hill to make six first-half saves just to keep her team close.
“We possessed the ball very well today, and that ended up kind of frustrating them and tiring them out a little bit,” Magnificat coach Gretchen Micklitsch said. “That ended up giving us an edge. The way we sent the ball back and changed directions, these girls played pretty soccer today.”
Tentative at times themselves, offensively, the Generals never got a shot on net until freshman Sam Smith tallied their only goal of the game with 16:19 remaining off a scramble in front of the goal.
Prior to that score, the Streaks’ defense unraveled most of the potential AW attacks before they could gain any serious steam, and kept the pressure on the Generals’ end.
“I just thought I had to get fired up and get a goal for my team,” Smith said of her goal, which gave AW some brief hope. “It wasn’t necessarily disappointing that they got a goal right back, because we just kept thinking we had to keep going and finish the game off strong.”
If the Generals were going to mount a comeback after Smith’s goal trimmed the deficit to 2-1, hopes were dashed 47 seconds later when Magnificat’s Natalie Coury broke in to send a right-footer past Hill from 12 yards out, giving the Blue Streaks a 3-1 edge with 15:32 to play. It was Coury’s 15th goal of the season.
“That was very important,” Micklitsch said, “and what made it even more exciting is that our senior captain, Natalie Coury, did what she does best.
"She took on three people and went through them and had a shot on goal. [Anthony Wayne] got up a little bit after their goal, and that [Coury’s] goal immediately took the wind out of their sails.”
The Anthony Wayne girls had been climbing the tournament ladder the past three years, losing in a sectional final in 2010, in a district final in 2011, and in a regional semifinal to eventual D-I state champion Perrysburg last year. This was their first regional final.
“Our ladder stopped,” Williams said, “but what a great season for the girls.”
Oak Harbor winsD-III regional title
CLYDE — Emma Barney scored a late goal to break a 1-1 tie and lift Oak Harbor to a Division III girls soccer regional championship.
Barney scored with a bit more than five minutes remaining to send the Rockets to the state semifinals. Oak Harbor will play at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
A Sam Johnson goal had Liberty-Benton ahead 1-0 midway through the first half. Alexa Weis of Oak Harbor tied the score 1-1 with a goal about seven minutes before halftime.