TROTWOOD — Soccer at the highest level is often a game of inches.
And Tuesday night’s Division III regional semifinal between Lehman Catholic and Cincinnati Mariemont at Trotwood-Madison High School was no exception.
After the two teams played to a 2-2 tie early in the season, Tuesday was a game that could have gone either way.
But, the ball bounced Mariemont’s way as the Warriors came away with a 1-0 victory to advance to Saturday’s regional championship game.
Mariemont improved to 14-3-2 with the win, while Lehman closed the season at 13-5-2.
“We had our chances,” Lehman coach Josh Duncan said. “I felt like we had more chances than they did. We had a really good season. We got off to a great start, we had a little bit of a rough patch in the middle and we finished strong.”
Lehman almost stunned Mariemont on the opening kickoff.
But, Mariemont goalie Ericka Dewey was able to make great save — the first of five in the game — on a shot by Ella Black.
“That is our bread and butter play on the kickoff,” Duncan said. “We got them with it the first time we played. We were hoping to get them with it again. Ella Black was really unlucky. The goalie just made a great save.
The only score of the night came midway through the first half.
Madeira’s Ally Frye took a corner kick that deflected off Anna Reiter, before Peyton Shoemaker managed to get the ball just inside the goal.
“The ball could have easily been deflected a different direction,” Duncan said.
Lehman had some good chances but was never able to get the equalizer.
Heidi Toner had a diving save in the final 10 minutes to keep the Cavaliers within 1-0.
With three minutes to go, Eva Dexter nearly tied the game off a play off a direct kick.
After a shot was deflected, Dexter got the ball on the left side and with pressure on her, sent a shot to the goal. It hit off the top cross bar and bounced over the back of the goal.
“If that ball hits a different part of the crossbar it goes in,” Duncan said. “Eva (Dexter) has had a great season for us. She has the ability to create shots out of nowhere. And that’s what that was, a shot out of nowhere.”
It was the end of another strong season and was the final game for Toner, Molly Greene, Ella Monnin, Colleen O’Leary and Agnes Schmiesing.
“We just had 17 players this year, instead of the normal 26 or 27,” Duncan said. “The girls worked really hard and earned everything they accomplished.”
The ball just didn’t bounce their way Tuesday night.
Reach Miami Valley Today sports editor Rob Kiser at (937) 552-2132 or at [email protected]