By John Bombatch
KETTERING — When two of the state’s best Division I girls soccer teams get together, sometimes one goal is all that’s needed.
No. 10-ranked Beavercreek (15-3-3) ended Tuesday’s Division I regional semifinal still wanting, as the Beavers lost to sixth-ranked Springboro (17-1-3) by a 1-0 score at Fairmont High School’s soccer field.
Springboro charged into the match on the offensive and had several scoring chances early on. But it wasn’t until sophomore Olivia Page got off a shot from the left wing roughly five minutes into the contest that anybody was able to score.
“I was looking to run in from behind, and it got deflected, and then I just kept going, hoping my shot was on, and I was,” Page said. “I just kept going and was able to place the shot.”
The Panthers made that score stand up the rest of the way, despite nearly a full second-half of pressure by the Beavers.
“We did pick up our play in the second half. We did a better job of attacking. But with that, we weren’t able to really get any good looks at goal to capitalize,” Beavercreek coach Steve Popp said. “The attack-to-goal was a lot better, but the opportunities weren’t coming along to enable us to get any good shots.”
Springboro’s defense would squelch out any Beavercreek shot try, despite several deep drives toward the Panthers’ goal. The team lost senior tri-captain Laurin Uptegrove just minutes into the match when she took a closely kicked ball to the face, breaking her nose. Uptegrove sat out the rest of the first half, but was back in action in the second half while sporting a full-face mask.
“I was really proud of how the girls handled Laurin’s injury,” Springboro coach Eric Detmer said. “We’ve been handling adversity all season long, and we got that goal and kept the momentum up for the next 20 minutes or so.
“That’s a top-notch team over there. (Beavercreek) had us under pressure for much of the second half. We had some chances, and they got close a few times,” Detmer added. “I thought our defense — with Caitlin Cottman and Bridie Herman in the middle, and Morgan Ramby in goal — we were able to limit the quality of their chances, and that’s why we were somehow able to keep that zero on the board.”
Page said she thought her Springboro team was more aggressive than when the two teams met and played to a 1-1 tie back on Sept. 7 in Beavercreek. “I think we were much sharper this time,” she said. “That was the difference.”
Greater Western Ohio Conference, National East division runner-up Beavercreek loses six seniors with the loss. Captains Ally Applin, Marissa Ashbrook, Kiley Guilman, Hannah Kim and Taylor Harlow, along with defender Megan Burton all played their final BHS match.
Springboro advances to the regional title match, which is set for a 3 p.m. start on Saturday, Nov. 5 at a site yet to be determined. Their opponent is yet to be determined as well. The winner between Cincinnati St. Ursula Academy and Loveland had yet to be determined. The two teams were tied at 2-all in overtime at presstime.