OTTOVILLE — Ottoville’s girls soccer team had a veteran — and deep — unit coming back in 2012 for head man Tim Kimmet.
Crestview was going to be young and inexperienced for head coach Melissa Mefferd.
That played out Tuesday afternoon at Bob Kaple Memorial Stadium in Ottoville during the teams’ Division III sectional tussle as the Lady Green dominated the Lady Knights 4-0.
Though the Lady Green (10-5-1) controlled the orb all but for a few moments, as well as the shots (27-3 on-goal), the Knights (2-12-3) battled and held their own.
The Green and Gold attacked the goal with relish the entire way but either Crestview senior keeper Darcci Swager (10 saves) came up with the stops on those shots (and even snuffed out several before they were taken) or her defenders, especially senior Clare Mefferd, got feet on those tries and knocked them out of bounds (8 corner kicks).
The first — and only goal — of the first half came at 33:04. Lady Green sophomore Haley Landwehr crossed from the right wing — eight yards out — but the orb hit off a defender and Swager had no chance in keeping the ball from finding the left side of the cords for a 1-0 edge.
The home team almost made it 2-0 at 28:55. Junior Kendra Eickholt got a 1-on-1 behind the defense in the center and her 10-yarder hit the crossbar and went out of bounds.
At 25:30, Landwehr tried a 6-yard header and Swager got the denial.
With just two ticks left in the half, senior Kendra Koester got a look from the right side of the 18-yard box from eight yards away and hit the outside of the post and out of bounds.
“We had played Crestview earlier and we knew that they were going to be tough to score on. They are always tough on defense, especially with Mefferd back there,” Kimmet said. “I don’t know if we were a bit nervous at the start but we simply didn’t execute offensively; we should have had a few more scores.”
For Mefferd, she was actually pleased at the half.
“When we were only down a goal at the half — and that was on an own-goal — I told the girls how pleased I was. They battled the entire way and I am so proud of them,” she explained. “We don’t have what you call a lot of raw talent but we have so much heart and we’re feisty; these girls kept working hard all year, no matter what was going on, and gave me everything they had all year and especially today. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Kimmet moved senior keeper Rachel Beining — who faced no shots the first half — up front for the second half.
Just 44 ticks into the half, Beining crossed to senior Rachel Turnwald from the left side to the post and she 1-touched the orb past Swager from six yards and a 2-0 edge.
Once again, Ottoville took advantage of its better depth and health to continue to attack.
At 35:10, Eickholt fired from the left wing and hit the outside of the near post.
Crestview got its first effort on-goal at 23:20 when sophomore Karlee Trammell fired a 14-yarder from the left wing that hit off a defender, then the near post and out of bounds.
Crestview continued to battle and tried to cling to hope but at 21:30, those hopes were all but dashed. Turnwald crossed from the right side to the left post, where Beining was waiting; she passed inside to Landwehr and her 8-yarder found the right side of the twine for a 3-0 edge.
At 19:56, Ottoville closed the scoring. In front of the goal, Beining made a quick touch pass to Eickholt and her 8-yarder found the left side of the net for a 4-0 margin.
At 9:27, the Knights had another chance when Mefferd launched a 25-yard free kick; junior keeper Danielle Trenkamp deflected the ball away and senior Aly Williamson tried to follow on the doorstep of the right post but a defender deflected the ball.
Injuries also became part of the story as Crestview sophomore Lauren Schmid was hurt at 34:53 of the second half and walked off but returned later.
At 12:36, Ottoville senior Marissa Pohlabel was helped off with a leg injury.
At 5:45, Mefferd was shook up but left the pitch under her own power.
“We’ve done that before, putting Rachel in the field. She’s such a good goalie that it is a bit of a risk,” Kimmet added. “It’s not that Danielle isn’t a good goalkeeper but she doesn’t have the experience. Rachel just does a nice job of putting the ball into the 18. You could also tell that their lack of numbers caught up to them but they played hard.”
Coach Mefferd concurred.
“We started with 17 and due to injuries and such, we were playing with 14 today. The girls gave everything but it does take a toll,” she added. “It’s hard when you can’t keep fresh legs in there against a deeper and talented team like Ottoville.”
Ottoville battles PCL nemesis Kalida 5 p.m. Saturday.