SPRINGFIELD — Anna advanced to a district final for a sixth consecutive year but couldn’t advance farther. Getting back was a victory in itself according to senior Taylor Poeppelman.
The Rockets lost 2-0 to Greenon in a Division III district final on Saturday at Springfield High School and finish 9-9-1 overall. Anna, which was voted the sectional’s No. 9 seed, advanced by beating No. 15 Dayton Christian 1-0 in overtime a district semifinal on Tuesday in Bellefontaine.
“All season, we’ve been looked over, and this proves that this group of girls put the work in,” senior Taylor Poeppelman, who scored the game-winning goal on Tuesday, said. “I think we deserved to be here tonight.”
It was a strong end to the season for Anna, which dropped to 5-7-1 with a 1-0 loss to West Liberty-Salem on Oct. 4.
The Rockets started the season with seven injured players, six of which were starters. Almost all were back for the tournament run, and they played alongside underclassmen who were battle-tested after having to take over early in the season.
“We had a lot of underclassmen step up huge,” Poeppelman said. “It’s been hard, but it made us come together as a team and get these big wins. We are a team; there aren’t any individuals on this field.”
The Knights took control fast by scoring both goals in the first five minutes. Kiersten Young scored a goal in the first minute, and Sarah Riley added another on a breakaway about four minutes later.
Greenon controlled the ball for most of the rest of the game and had over a dozen other shots, but Anna sophomore goalkeeper Abby Stroh prevented any more from getting by her.
“They’re a good team, and they deserve it,” Poeppelman said. “… We’re not used to being on turf, which is hard. But I’m proud of everyone on the team. We played hard tonight.”
Poeppelman is one of eight seniors the squad will lose to graduation. Aside from advancing to a district final each of the last four years, the team won three Western Ohio Soccer League titles in that time.
“I think we have an amazing program,” Poeppelman said. “Getting here for years in a row, that’s hard. Not a lot of teams do that. I’m really proud of everyone. We shouldn’t be overlooked.
“… There’s a ton of experience and a ton of talent (coming back). I think they’ll be here next year, too.”
Greenon, which was the Dayton D-III sectional’s No. 6 seed, advanced to face Cincinnati Country Day in a regional semifinal on Tuesday and lost 5-0. The Knights finished 17-4.
Sidney’s Fair named MVL co-athlete of the year
Sidney senior defender Lainie Fair was named co-Miami Valley League athlete of the year recently, and several other players earned all-league honors.
Joining Fair on first team all-MVL were junior Kimora Johnson and sophomore forward Larkyn Vordemark. Junior midfielder Olivia Barga and freshmen forwards Katie McKinney and Kyleigh Spade were named second team all-MVL.
Vordemark scored a team-high 23 goals and had 13 assists. Fair scored seven goals and had two assists and Johnson scored five goals and had 14 assists.
Barga scored seven goals and had nine assists, McKinney scored six goals and had 10 assists and Spade scored nine goals and had 10 assists.
The Yellow Jackets, which lost 4-0 to Bellbrook in a tournament opener on Oct. 18, finished 11-5-2 overall.
Lehman’s Dexter, Duncan earn TRC athlete, coach of the year honors
Lehman Catholic’s Eva Dexter and Josh Duncan earned Three Rivers Conference athlete and coach of the year honors, respectively, and several other players were named all-conference.
Joining Dexter on first team all-TRC were junior defender Tanner Black, sophomore goalkeeper Callie Giguere and senior midfielder Tori Lachey. Senior defender Kailey Higgins and junior forward Mara O’Leary were named second team.
Dexter scored 18 goals and had two assists. Giguere had 117 saves and posted five shutouts.
The Cavaliers lost 5-4 to TRC rival Bethel in overtime in their first tournament game on Oct. 22. Lehman finished 9-6-2 overall. It’s the first year since 2011 the squad didn’t advance to at least a district final.
Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.