By Zach Gregory
MONROE — The Carroll boys and girls soccer teams were both in action in a pair of Division-II Regional Final matches, Saturday at Monroe High School. The boys are returning to State after defeating Cincinnati Wyoming 2-1 in the first match of the day. The girls gave up two goals in the first half and couldn’t complete the comeback in the second half, losing to Cincinnati Indian Hill 2-1.
The Patriots (18-4) won a tough fight with the Cowboys (16-4-2) in the boys’ match.
Colin Flaute appeared to score the first goal for Carroll on a breakaway with 23:28 to play in the first match, but the linesman called him offside. The Patriots continued to pressure on offense early, but Wyoming was able to take advantage of that and score first.
After a Carroll shot was cleared, Wyoming’s Jay Klein got out on the breakaway and scored to go up 1-0 with 17:06 left in the first half.
Carroll coach Scott Molfenter said his team wasn’t flustered by the early deficit.
“To be honest, we spent a big part of the first part of the year playing from behind. It was nice that we had been there before. I was proud of the guys. Fortunately we scored early enough that we had a chance to come back,” he said.
Eli Ramsey was able to tie things up for the Patriots off of a free kick with 1:36 left until the break.
“Scoring right before the end of the half was huge. It changed the entire dynamic of the match for us going into halftime,” said Molfenter.
The Patriots scored early in the first half. Senior Spencer Kreinbrink took a shot from the left side just four minutes into the second half to put his team up 2-1.
Carroll had to fend off an aggressive Wyoming team to hold on to the lead. The Cowboys had nine shots in the second half.
“I’m proud of these guys. I think with as many players we lost last year and with as young as we are, I can say I’m proud. I think we’ve figured some things out,” said Molfenter.
The Carroll boys play Columbus Saint Francis DeSales in the State semifinal match 7 p.m. Wednesday at Wright State’s Alumni Field.
The girls gave up two quick goals in the first half to Indian Hill, the first goals any team had scored on Carroll since Oct. 10, eight matches ago. Anna Podojil scored the first goal for the Braves with 23:41 left to play in the first half. She then found Morgan Jackson for a second goal just 10 minutes later.
The Patriots (16-5-1) were the aggressors in the second half. Abby McNamara headed the ball into the net off of a Mia Raiff with 22:56 left to go in the game. They had more good looks in the remainder of the game, but couldn’t put any goals away.
Carroll coach Sarah Flach said she was proud of her team’s effort.
“I’m really proud of them. I think when you’re this far in the tournament, you kind of come out and play a little conservative to see what the other team is going to come with. I think we were on our heels a little bit and they took full advantage,” she said. “I thought we had the better play in the second half. We just couldn’t find the net, and in tournament play whoever finds the net goes on.”
Flach said she hopes her players will eventually be able to look back at their run fondly.
“Hopefully, as they look back on this, they can see that it was a great run by a great team,” she said. “They’ll go down in the history books, actually. It’s the third (girls) team ever to make it to the regional final.”
The Patriots graduate 10 seniors.