XENIA — The showdown is set.
Lehman Catholic, the second-ranked girls soccer team in the state coaches association Division III poll, will face top-ranked Cincinnati Country Day on Tuesday in a regional semifinal at Centerville’s Alumni Stadium.
The Cavaliers improved to 15-1-2 with a 3-0 win over Springfield Catholic Central in a D-III district championship game on Thursday at Xenia’s Doug Adams Stadium while CCD advanced with a 7-1 win over Greeneview.
“I know they (Cincinnati Country Day) are really good,” Lehman forward Noelle Dexter said. “But I think we are really good too.”
Lehman coach Jeremy Lorenzo is looking forward to the challenge.
“It should be a great game,” Lorenzo said.
And the biggest challenge yet for an impressive Lehman defense.
For the second straight game, the Cavalier defenders were facing a prolific scorer or two on the other side.
Middletown Madison’s Keri Wheeler came into Monday’s district semifinal with 25 goals — and Thursday, Catholic Central’s Lizzie Bruce and Caitlin Foley had combined for 45 goals this season.
But none could penetrate the defense of the Cavaliers led by center-backs Hope Anthony and Anna Cianciolo as Catholic Central had six shots on goal to Lehman Catholic’s eight.
Heidi Toner recorded her third straight shutout in postseason with one save, while Libby Woeber finished with six saves for the Irish.
“I thought they had some opportunities,” Lorenzo said about Catholic Central. “But our defense is amazing. Our centerbacks are as good as any in the state and are outside backs are very good as well.”
It was a record night for Lehman junior Lindsey Magoteaux as she scored her school-record 32nd goal and Dexter and Lindsey Jones added goals as well.
Dexter got things started with 10:01 remaining in the first half on a bang-bang play.
Dexter and Rylie McIver were chasing a perfect diagonal ball from Ava Behr as Woeber came out of goal for the ball. They and Irish defender Natalie Troop all got together at about the same time.
Dexter got her foot on the ball just before Woeber could get to it and as Dexter collided with Woeber and Troop, the ball rolled into the goal at the 10:01 mark of the first half.
“I thought she (Libby Woeber) was going to get the ball,” Dexter said. “I think Rylie and I just collided at the perfect time. I kind of feel like Rylie should get the assist because when we collided, she pushed me towards the ball.”
Less than three minutes later, Magoteaux moved to the top of the Lehman single-season scoring list, breaking the mark held by Gretchen Walter after another perfect diagonal ball — this time from Jones.
“That is one of the things we talked about,” Lorenzo said. “Attacking them diagonally.”
Magoteaux didn’t wast the opportunity, scoring from the left corner of the box with 7:30 remaining in the half to make it 2-0.
“I was thinking it would be terrible to come down her and not get a goal,” Magoteaux said. “The first goal was to win the game. That was the most important thing. But, the second goal was to get the record tonight.”
Jones capped the game’s scoring with a shot from the top of the box, after Ella Monnin’s direct kick ricocheted to her with 22:26 remaining in the game.
“I just hit the ball when I saw it,” Jones, who had a stunned look on her face when the ball went into the goal, said. “I was not expecting that to go in. This (scoring a goal in the district championship game) it was what you dream about. It is what you work for and this is my senior year.”
The shot surprised Lorenzo as well.
“I actually thought it was on the other side of the net,” he said. “Then, everybody started celebrating. It was great to see for Lyndsey (Jones). She has worked really hard and it is great to see her getting hot this time of year.”
All that was left was for the clock to hit zeros and Lehman to celebrate its third straight district title.
“It is a great feeling,” Dexter said about the district title. “It never gets old — I can tell you that.”
Now it is on to Tuesday night and the matchup of the top two ranked teams in Ohio in D-III.
New Bremen 3, Marion Local 1
New Bremen won its fourth consecutive Division IV district title with a 25-20, 25-14, 19-25, 25-22 victory over Midwest Athletic Conference rival Marion Local on Thursday in Bluffton.
Taylor Paul led the Cardinals with nine kills and had three aces while Josie Reinhart had nine kills and Macy Puthoff had eight kills and five blocks. Kaylee Freund had three kills and three blocks, Claire Pape had a team-high 30 assists, Diana Heitkamp had a team-high four aces and 19 digs and Puthoff had nine digs.
The Cardinals, which were ranked No. 2 in D-IV in the final state coaches association poll, advances to face top-ranked St. Henry in a regional semifinal on Thursday at Elida High School. The Redskins beat New Bremen 3-2 in MAC play on Sept. 12.
Sidney Daily News sports editor Bryant Billing contributed to this article. Billing can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.