All eyes are on the soccer ball as St. John’s senior Kelsey Pohlman looks to control the ball against Lima Central Catholic’s Taylor Judy Thursday afternoon. Seen other Blue Jay seniros played their final home matches but lost 6-0 to the Lady Thunderbirds.
DELPHOS — The St. John’s girls soccer unit celebrated Senior Parents Night Thursday at the Annex against Lima Central Catholic.
The Lady Thunderbirds proved to be rude guests in this contest as they pieced together a 6-0 shutout on a sunny but brisk fall afternoon.
Eight Lady Blue Jays played their final home matches: Morgan Musser, Alyssa Gable, Jessica Recker, Kelsey Pohlman, Ally Mohler, Rylee Hamilton, Brittany Kramer and Michelle Hitchcock.
“We’ve come a long way this year, especially when you think of how inexperienced we were to start. My seniors have been great leaders and helped make it fun for the girls; that’s always my goal and to help them become better players,” St. John’s coach John Munoz observed.
The Jays (3-12-1) held even with the speedy T-Birds in the first few minutes but LCC’s prowess, especially offensively, began to take control.
“We tried some different things to try and match up with their quickness and skill. We tried some zone marking instead of man marking, then some combination of both,” Munoz continued. “It worked at times and not at others but we needed to learn that. These are all things we hope to learn and use from here on in.”
At the 32:07, the visitors went up 1-0. On a sequence in front of the net, Meredith Shepherd crossed from outside the left post — faster that sophomore keeper Samantha Wehri (6 saves versus 16 shots on-goal) could react — to Tristan Selby for a point-blank shot inside the right post.
It didn’t take long — 2:08 — for the visitors to make it 2-0. Sophomore star Sydney Santaguida fired a 19-yarder from the left post that hit off the crossbar and rebounded right to Selby inside the right post; she went high side inside the near post from eight yards.
The Jays then played on even terms most of the rest of the first half, though they could only manage a couple of shots on-goal against Ashley Hunt (4 saves vs. 5 shots on-goal), with junior Madison Kreeger’s 30-yarder at 12:51 the best.
LCC broke through again at the 5:37 mark when Shepherd got her own tally: a 23-yarder from the left post that went over the top of Wehri and into the net.
At 1:34, it almost became 4-0. Off a corner kick, the guests had a sequence in front of their goal, with Santaguida getting a look; however, sophomore Alyssa Martin kicked the ball away before crossing the goal line.
LCC continued to possess the orb in the second half and had a couple of looks in the early going that didn’t find their mark.
However, at 32:38, they did. Santaguida took a pass from Liz Taflinger from the left side to the left post and went over the top from 14 yards that found the twine and a 4-0 edge.
Kreeger had a good effort from 30 yards at 30:31 but her shot deflected off a defender and into the waiting arms of the keeper.
At 17:32, Santaguida made it 5-0. She took a free kick from just outside the 18 and went high left.
The Lady Thunderbirds tacked on the final goal at 14:06. Shepherd made a nice move to get an open look from 15 yards on the right post; she went low and hit the inside that pos and ricocheted in.
Pohlman had another effort for the Jays at 9:49 but her 8-yarder outside the left post was knocked away by Hunt.
“LCC is a very skilled and quick team; they know what they’re doing. They got good shots and showed a lot of patience to get them,” Munoz added.
St. John’s takes on Lincolnview 7 p.m. Saturday in the Division III sectional at Elida, while LCC, the top seed there, awaits the Jefferson/Allen East (5 p.m. Saturday) victor at 5 p.m. Thursday.