|Lady Cavaliers kick out Jays from soccer tourney|
|Thursday, October 17, 2013 12:20 AM|
By JIM METCALFE
The Cavaliers (8-9) advance to take on the winner of Saturday’s Kalida/Fort Jennings winner Wednesday at Bath.
They dominated the shots on-goal 13-1.
“For whatever reason tonight, we just couldn’t really get anything put together offensively. We started slow and once we got down a goal, we had to play catchup,” Blue Jays’ coach John Munoz noted. “It seemed that Coldwater was a step ahead of us all night. They played a lot more aggressively this time that they did the first time we played them (a 3-0 St. John’s road win Sept. 3) and we never could adjust. We tried moving people around but Coldwater always seemed to be on the attack.”
That was the exact plan of Coldwater coach Scott Brinkman.
“We wanted to come out and be aggressive the whole time and with our quality depth, we can do so. We won the 50/50 balls for the most part,” Brinkman added. “I felt that for the first 70 minutes, we controlled the match, we set the pace, we set the tempo. It was more difficult when St. John’s sent more girls forward the last 10 minutes but we still only gave up one shot. We had a great crowd here tonight and that was with our volleyball team splitting the potential crowd.”
Using the wind advantage the first half, they attacked from the word go and either Lady Blue Jay (7-8-3) junior keeper Samantha Wehri (11 saves vs. 13 shots) was on her game in stopping the shot or the Cavaliers were off the mark.
That, or Wehri came out and patrolled the 18-yard box to keep the Cavaliers from getting open looks on their long balls.
That is, until 22:01. After the Jays failed to clear the ball outside the 18, Leslie Stelzer got the possession from the right wing and went 14 yards past Wehri for a 1-0 edge.
Holly Rindler then proved to be a thorn in the Blue Jay defense’s side most of the rest of the half but the Jays staved her and her teammates off, especially at 16:37 when Wehri made a diving stab to stop a 16-yarder by Rindler.
The Jays never really got anything going in the offensive end, rarely making a foray into that space.
In the second half, the Jays had the wind but once again, seemingly never able to connect on sequences to move the orb down the pitch.
On the other end, Rindler, Stelzer and Erica Sudhoff continued to set the pace for the Cavaliers but once again, they couldn’t find their target.
That is, until 28:52. On a long shot from the left wing, Haley Kahlig forced a brilliant leaping save by Wehri but in the process, the netminder fell down; the deflection made a perfect bounce for the Cavaliers — down in front of the goal and Rindler crashed the net and headed in a 2-yarder for a 2-0 edge.
The Cavaliers were not satisfied with a 2-goal edge and continued to make things miserable for the Blue Jays, with Wehri having to briefly leave the match after a collision with a Cavalier player on a deflection.
It was only in the last 10 minutes or so that the Jays finally got some offensive rhythm going.
At 7:48, senior Madison Kreeger got a 16-yarder from the right wing that barely missed over the crossbar.
The Jays’ only official shot on-goal came at 1:36 when senior Samantha Bonifas was denied on a 16-yarder by Coldwater keeper Alanna Severt.
The Blue Jays saw seven seniors play their final match for the Blue and Gold.
“It’s always tough to see that, to see their season end. We had one or two that had not played soccer before and another couple that only had one season of soccer but they came a long way, as did our team,” Munoz added. “This program and these girls have an amazing ability to incorporate newcomers like that into the system well. We become like a family. We will miss them but we have some building blocks for next year, especially a young back line that we feel can move forward and be scorers because we have some depth back there.”
It was the second straight sectional title for the Cavaliers.
“It’s a big accomplishment for our program to win some tournament games. We beat St. John’s last year for the sectional title and they beat us two years ago,” Brinkman added. “We look forward to whichever team we play.”