SIDNEY — It was not just another outstanding season coming to an end after a loss to the likely state champion.
It was the end of an era for Lehman Catholic girls soccer program.
A 6-1 loss to undefeated and defending state champion Cincinnati Country Day in a Division III regional semifinal on Tuesday night at Centerville’s Alumni Stadium was the final game in an amazing six-year run for coach Jeremy Lorenzo, who is retiring from coaching.
“I have just been so blessed with so many great players,” Lorenzo said. “And that is (what I will miss). The great relationship with all the players. I still hear from some of the players from the 2013 team. I have developed so many great relationships. It certainly won’t be all the practices I miss (he said with a laugh).”
During his time as coach, the Cavaliers have won 87 matches, while losing just 20 and tying eight times.
They advanced to the district finals all six years, winning four district titles and advancing to the regional finals a year ago before losing to the same Cincinnati Country Day team, who went on to win the state title.
“Tony (Schroeder, who took the Cavaliers to the regional finals in his final year as coach before Lorenzo took over as coach) asked the hard questions to me,” Lorenzo said. “He asked me why can’t this be a top five team in the state every year?”
Something the Cavaliers have become and this season was no exception.
In fact, Thursday’s matchup was a meeting of the top two ranked teams in the final D-III coaches poll.
CCD improved to 17-0-2 on the season, tying Summit Country Day twice.
Lehman, who owns a win over Summit Country Day this season, finished 15-2-2.
But, the Indians took control from the start Tuesday, scoring three goals in the first 14 minutes and taking a 5-0 lead by halftime — outshooting Lehman 13-0 in the first half.
“That is a great team,” Lorenzo said. “You can do all the scouting, watching films, everything you do to prepare for the game. But, until you are actually out on the field against them, you don’t know just how good they are>”
Jenna Setters opened the scoring at the 34:30 mark of the first half.
Lawson Renie, who came into the game with 40 goals and will play for the University of Tennessee next year, then found the net with 27:44 remaining.
One minute later, Sarah Zimmerman took a cross at the top of the box and buried it into the net to make it 3-0 with 26:44 remaining in the half.
Lawson added her second goal and Jada Moorman scored to make it 5-0 at the break.
“None of the things we tried in the early going worked,” Lorenzo said. “But, that is a really good team.”
Both teams scored one goal in the second half.
Setters scored off a perfect corner kick from Abbie Heiden and Lehman’s goal came from Noelle Dexter.
After Lehman was awarded a penalty kick, Lindsey Magoteaux’s shot was deflected by CCD goalie Lilly Reisenfeld, but Dexter followed it to get Lehman on the board and make the final 6-1.
“There is not quit in these girls,” Lorenzo said. “We tied them 1-1 in the second half. I really hated giving up that corner (kick for a goal).”
CCD outshot Lehman 16-4 and had seven corner kicks.
Heidi Toner had 10 saves for Lehman, while Riesenfeld had three for CCD.
It was the final match for Lehman seniors Rylie McIver, Lyndsey Jones, Olivia Monnin, Ava Behr,Maegan Titterington and Hope Anthony.
Lehman won district titles in their final three seasons and advanced to the regional finals for only the second time in program history a year ago.
“These seniors had amazing careers,” Lorenzo said. “I couldn’t ask any more of them.”
And now Lorenzo will put away his coaching whistle.
“Josh Duncan is going to take over next year and he will do a great job,” Lorenzo said. “One of the things Tony (Schroeder) told me is he wanted to leave the program in a better place and I feel like I have done that.”
After an amazing six-year run.