By Rob Kiser
CENTERVILLE — The Lehman Catholic girls soccer team “cornered” Madeira Tuesday night at Centerville’s Alumni Field.
Which means soccer in November for the Cavaliers for just the second time in school history.
All three Lehman goals came on corner kicks as the Cavaliers knocked off the Amazons 3-1 in a Division III regional semifinal Tuesday night in Centerville.
Lehman (14-4-1) will now play the top-ranked D-III team in the state Cincinnati Country Day Saturday at a time and site to be announced. Madeira closes at 10-4-5.
“I was an assistant coach on the team that went to the regional finals,” Lehman coach Jeremy Lorenzo said. “I remember everything about that, and I am sure all the girls on that team do, too.”
And while it was Madeira’s ability to score on set pieces that concerned Lorenzo, the success on the corners for Lehman was a pleasant surprise.
“It was good to see, because that has not exactly been our forte,” Lorenzo said.
In fact, Lehman converted on its first two CKs to put Madeira in a hole they couldn’t get out of.
Grace Olding took the corners on both of those goals.
“That’s never happened,” Olding said with a smile about the team scoring on her first two corners of a game. “Really, I just put the ball out there. The other girls did the rest.”
The first one came with 32:48 remaining in the first half.
Olding sent it perfectly just in front of the net. After a couple attempts by Lehman, Rylie McIver drilled it into the net.
“The ball was bouncing off people all over the place,” McIver said. “I was just hoping it didn’t hit anybody (when she sent it into the net). I have been struggling to get goals this year, so that felt great.”
Lorenzo didn’t know for sure what happened, but he liked the result.
“From where I was, I could just see a bunch of bodies,” Lorenzo said. “Then, I saw the ball in the net.”
Less than three minutes later, Olding worked her magic from the corner again.
She spotted Lindsey Magoteaux come open right in front of her and tapped it to her.
“We were originally going to do a two-girl and called it off,” Lorenzo said. “Lindsey came out there and nobody came with her.”
And Olding heard Lorenzo react.
“I heard him (Jeremy Lorenzo) yell Lindsey, so I just kicked it to her,” Olding said.
Magoteaux, who had a hat trick in the district final win over West Liberty-Salem, immediately crossed it to Carly Edwards, who found the back of the net to make it 2-0.
“I wasn’t paying attention at first,” Edwards said. “I looked and there was Lindsey (Magoteaux) with the ball. I was wide open and she crossed it to me. I just one-touched the thing and drilled it. I could hear it smack the back of the net.”
Magoteaux’s play didn’t surprise Lorenzo.
“I know Lindsey (Magoteaux) has over 20 goals, but she is a really unselfish player,” Lorenzo said. “She loves getting her assists too.”
The score remained that way until Madeira’s Ana Garcia finished off a free kick by Kennedy Torggler with 5:10 remaining in the first half.
“I was upset with that goal,” Lorenzo said. “We talked to the girls about how good Madeira is on set-pieces. They have a couple of girls who are really dangerous from 40 yards. We talked about the fact we couldn’t foul in our end. Then, we commit a foul and they score.”
The score remained that way until midway through the second half as Lehman fans were on the edge of their seats.
Then, Lehman had another corner kick.
Just before the corner kick, Lorenzo inserted Grace Monnin back into game.
“To be honest, I thought Grace (Monnin) looked pretty tired out there,” Lorenzo said. “She said she was ready to go back in. I told her, ‘then, you need to go do something.’”
Samantha Edwards took the corner and placed in perfectly in front of the goal.
“I knew I just needed to put the ball there,” Edwards said. “I knew Grace (Monnin) would be there because she always is.”
Monnin broke towards the ball and kicked it in midair into the back of the net at the 20:29 mark to make it 3-1.
“Coach (Jeremy Lorenzo) put me back in and told me I needed to go do something,” Monnin said with a smile. “Sam (Samantha Edwards) gave me a perfect ball.”
That was all the Lehman defense and goalie Hannah Giguere needed as Lehman outshot Madeira 13-2.
Giguere had one save, while Madeira goalie Mollie McGuire had seven.
“Our defense has taken some cheap shots,” Lorenzo said. “But they have really come on. The last two games they have played great. They don’t get all the credit they deserve. But first Gabby Hollar from West Liberty-Salem and tonight number two (Mia Wyrick) from Madeira. To keep her off the board was a great job. She is a really good player.”
Now, comes the biggest challenge yet.
“Cincinnati Country Day is really good,” Lorenzo said. “That’s why I went where I did on the bracket. If we were going to play them, I didn’t want it to be tonight (in the regional semifinals). We used to talk about no settling for silver (medals). This year, we said we wanted to be playing in November.”
And, after cornering Madeira, that’s exactly what the Cavaliers are doing.
Rob Kiser can be reached at (937) 451-3334.