|Roughriders wear down Jays in soccer|
|Wednesday, August 21, 2013 12:14 AM|
By JIM METCALFE
ST. MARYS — St. Marys Memorial’s girls soccer team had already played a match by the time they hosted St. John’s in the Blue Jays’ season-opener Monday evening at Roughrider Field at West Elementary School.
The host Lady Roughriders were without a pair of senior starters but the Jays matched that and more: they were down five starters due either to injuries or the Allen County Band Show.
All in all, a 3-0 loss to the perennial-power ’Riders was not a bad result for St. John’s head coach John Munoz.
“They are a tough opener and for us to stay with them as we did with only 13 players showed the toughness of these girls. They battled the whole night, even when they were dead tired,” Munoz noted. “They made up their minds they were going to play hard the entire time. St. Marys is always a good gauge of where we stand to start the year and what we need to work on.”
The hosts (1-1-0) controlled the orb much of the night but the Blue Jay defense did a nice job of forcing their shots from outside the 18-yard box, with junior goalkeeper Samantha Wehri registering 18 saves against 21 shots on-goal.
St. Marys’ best try earlier in the first half came at 25:34 when Wehri was down on a flurry in front of her net but sophomore Ashlyn Troyer kicked the ball out of danger.
However, the Roughriders drew first blood at 16:39 when senior Kelsey Rohrbach launched a looper from the top of the semi-circle that just eluded the fingertips of Wehri and hit the back of the net for a 1-0 edge.
The Jays’ first real chance at the goal came at 10:46 when senior forward Madison Kreeger fired a 22-yarder from the right side that nearly escaped the clutches of Roughrider sophomore keeper Hailee Andreoni (3 saves vs. 3 shots on-goal).
With the Roughriders using their superior bench more in the second half, they could be more aggressive.
“We were more confident today because we felt we could be. We struggled in our opener against a very good Marysville team — one of the best we’ve ever seen — and we worked on ball possession and such as that since,” veteran Roughrider coach Paul Dingledine explained. “The first half, we forced too many shots from way out and though we had one get through, generally those are stopped. The second half, we went to our bench more.”
They made it 2-0 at 36:45 off a corner kick. Rohrbach launched the ball from the right side and found freshman Jenna Norton open on the left post; her 10-yarder went inside that post.
At 34:10, Wehri kicked away the 13-yarder by senior Samantha Wilson.
Kreeger let fly with a 22-yarder at 32:52 but Andreoni secured the stop.
Memorial nearly made it 3-0 at 27:58 off a corner kick but senior Kristen Dammeyer’s 8-yarder hit the right post and the hosts couldn’t get a follow shot.
Kreeger had the Jays’ last real scoring chance at 17:07 but her 25-yarder was denied by backup keeper Bailey Fenwick-Miller.
Finally, the Roughriders added their final score at 12:28. Junior Skylar Liming, off a midfield kick by Wilson, got control of the ball inside the box on the right wing, stopped and popped an 18-yarder over the top.
“We had some first-game jitters; we have a lot of girls who had never played varsity soccer before, so that’s expected even more,” Munoz added. “We got better the second half as we settled down. Our ball possession was better, we were more organized and we just simply played better. I am so proud of these girls for this effort today. We’ll sit down (today) and see what we can do for Wapakoneta.”
The Jays host the redskins Thursday, with a scheduled time of 7 p.m.
Memorial plays Liberty-Benton the same night.