By Josh Brown
and Rob Kiser
CINCINNATI — After winning the sectional title, Milton-Union’s girls soccer team simply ran into the unstoppable force.
Summit Country Day — the top-ranked team in the Division III South sectional bracket — took the lead early, and after an injury in Milton-Union’s defensive backfield it piled on three more quick scores to put the game away, defeating the Bulldogs 5-0 in the district championship game Thursday night at Madeira High School.
“We were down 1-0 with 18 minutes left in the first half. We were playing okay and starting to get into the game more,” Milton-Union coach Andy Grudich said. “Then my center back Alayna Bennett took a shot to the face on a cross and received a concussion. We had to move girls around to different spots to cover for the injury, and they then scored three goals in 10 minutes. We had chances in both halves to score, but their keeper made some good plays.”
Summit Country Day moves on the the regional semifinal round to face Madeira Tuesday night. Milton-Union’s season came to an end with a 13-5-1 record.
“I was proud of the girls,” Grudich said. “We battled all night.”
CCD 2, Lehman 1
MONROE — The journey ended too soon.
But there can be no argument that it was another successful season for the Lehman girls soccer program.
Making their fourth straight trip to the D-III district finals — and in search of a fourth straight district title — the Cavaliers came up short.
Lehman fell 2-1 to Cincinnati Country Day Thursday at Monroe High School, finishing the season at 13-5-1.
The Indians improved to 16-2-1.
“We wanted to go a lot farther,” Lehman coach Jeremy Lorenzo said. “But, this was a young team. We played a tough schedule and it took us awhile to find out just what kind of team we had. I think when you look at it, you would have to say it was another successful season.”
And it was Lehman who struck first Thursday night.
With 31:15 still remaining in the first half, Katie Edwards sent a ball down towards the Lady Indians goal.
Sara Fuller beat the goalie Olivia Robinson to the ball and chipped it over her head towards and empty net, with Grace Olding waiting to put the ball in the net and make it 1-0.
“That was Sara (Fuller) being Sara,” Lorenzo said. “We were able to get the first score, which was what we wanted to do against a team like Cincinnati Country Day.”
But the rest of the half, Lehman struggled to possess the ball as Grace Brandt made a number of nice saves in goal.
Olivia Brown just missed a kick from the top of the box, that deflect of the crossbar, then hit the goal post.
With 13:35 to go in the half, Katelyn Setter got the equalizer from the top of the box.
“We talked about not letting them (Cincinnati Country Day) get into rhythm and that is exactly what they did,” Lorenzo said.
It looked like Lehman might get to the half tied at 1-1, but late in the half, a ball was misplayed by a Lehman defender.
Lauren Buczek tracked it down and with 1:19 remaining in the half, crossed it to Alyanna Kemp, who fired it into the upper 90.
“That number 4 (Lauren Buczek) is a really nice player and made a nice play along the baseline to the girls (Alyanna Kemp) at the top of the box,” Lorenzo said. “She (Alyanna Kemp) just made a phenomenal shot.”
Early in the second half, Brandt had a number of nice saves to keep Lehman in the game.
“Grace (Brandt) had some spectacular saves tonight,” Lorenzo said.
Midway through the half, Lehman began to gain momentum, but the Cavaliers could never get a good shot for an equalizer.
They were able to get a corner kick with 10 seconds to go, but CCD was able to clear it just before the final buzzer.
“We got back to playing Lady Cavs soccer,” Lorenzo said. “Using short kicks and controlling the ball. We just couldn’t get a second goal.”
While Lehman will lose All-Ohio forward Fuller, the future remains bright.
“We lose one starter and Sara (Fuller) will be tough to replace,” Lorenzo said. “She is going to be an All-Ohio player this year. But, the good news is we had a lot of young players who gained valuable experience this year.”
And when they return to the pitch next fall, the goal will be the same.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter. Rob Kiser can be reached at (937) 451-334.