By Luke Severt
For the Troy Daily News
TROY — Déjà vu.
It was a match that was all too familiar for the Troy girls soccer team, as the fourth-seeded Trojans were defeated 2-1 on a sudden death goal in overtime by No. 7 Miamisburg in the first round of the Division I sectional tournament Tuesday at Troy Memorial Stadium, thus ending their season.
An early goal by the opposition. High-pressure, attacking play by the Trojans as the clock winds down on the match, and their season. An equalizer, the most clutch goal of the season, to tie it up and send it to overtime.
Heartbreak. In an overtime period where the first team to score is the champion, the Trojans fall short. Their season ends, quicker than they had hoped, quicker than they had expected. Tears flow. Teammates hug. A bitter end to a remarkable season.
It’s the same formula that has occurred two years in a row. Last season, it was the D-I sectional final, a matchup against Sidney at Springfield High School. The Yellow Jackets stung first, the Trojans tied it, the match was sent to overtime. Sidney capitalized, scoring and sending Troy home.
Now, a year later, the Trojans were defeated in almost identical fashion.
The horn sounded throughout Troy Memorial Stadium as the regulation clock ran out. The score was deadlocked at 1-1, and the Trojans and the Vikings headed to overtime.
Two 15-minute sudden death periods to be followed by penalty kicks if neither team is able to score to determine whose season would be coming to a close and who would be advancing to the next round.
Nearly halfway through the first overtime period, with 8:05 left to play, Miamisburg freshman midfielder Logan McGuire gained possession of the ball, sprinting down the far sideline on a breakaway opportunity. Despite efforts from the Trojan defense, McGuire’s quickness created a chance for a shot on goal, and she capitalized, sending a missile into the back of the net.
She fell to the ground as the Miamisburg bench sprinted onto the field to celebrate with her.
And just like that, Troy’s season was over.
“Disappointment,” Troy coach Michael Rasey said, reflecting on the match. “Whenever your season ends in a sudden moment like that, it’s kind of tough to process. I think the first thing is maybe a little bit of shock, and then the disappointment sets in.”
After nearly 70 minutes of scoreless play in regulation, Miamisburg’s Alisa Arthur — the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s second-leading scorer — sent a left-footed shot into the bottom right corner of the goal to put her team up 1-0 with only 12 minutes left to play.
That could have been the end of the story, but it wasn’t.
The next 10 minutes contained some of the most aggressive soccer the Troy girls have played this season, as they continuously attacked goal. They simply couldn’t break through.
Senior Kiyha Adkins led the charge, logging four shots on goal in the total of about seven minutes, and she found herself unlucky on every chance. Two of her shots were blocked, not by the Miamisburg keeper, but by a defender.
“We had had so many opportunities, and I think they had three defender saves. Most of those go in, but they were in the right spots at the right time, to give them credit,” Rasey said.
With 2:55 left on the clock, just two minutes and 55 seconds to preserve their season, Troy junior Anna Burghardt lined up for a corner kick. She placed it in the middle of a scrum, right in front of the Miamisburg goal.
There was a fight for the ball, and Troy senior Ciena Miller emerged victorious. Her next touch didn’t require a lot of power from her leg. Instead, she was able to get just enough of the ball to redirect it into the back of the net and send the game to overtime.
“I thought getting the tie to go to overtime was probably the right result considering how well we played up until that point,” Rasey said.
The home crowd exploded as the late-match tension shifted to heroics for the Trojans. However, not long after, they simply fell short.
“I told the girls I’m incredibly proud of the way they played tonight,” Rasey said.
In the end, the Trojans finished with an overall record of 11-6 and went 9-1 in league play. They spent the entire year without senior captain Kenzie Evans, who led the team in scoring last year and was sidelined with a serious knee injury for the entirety of this season. They also played their last few games—including Tuesday’s loss—without this season’s leading scorer, Julianna Williams, who is also injured.
“This is a special team in the way that they rallied together in some difficult circumstances,” Rasey said. “We battled injuries all season long. Before the season started, losing arguably your best player, and then here towards the end not having your leading scorer, it’s been tough. The girls were resilient, and they fought through quite a bit of adversity. We have some results we’d like to have back, but by-and-large, it was a season that I’ll certainly remember, and a positive one overall.”
Emotions were running high on Tuesday, for the players and for Rasey, who offered a few parting words about the seniors on his team whose Troy soccer careers have now officially come to a close
“They undoubtedly left a mark on this program,” he said with a soft smile. “A positive mark.”