Postseason run ends in district finals for Legacy Christian


BELLBROOK — Legacy Christian girls soccer head coach Brett Stanley has one way he wants to remember this year’s historic squad.

It was a team that just loved one another, he said.

The Knights advanced to its first ever district title game in the Division III postseason, but came up just short in a 3-2 loss to Mariemont on Thursday at Bellbrook High School.

The season ends with an 18-2-1 record that included a Metro Buckeye Conference championship for a second consecutive year and a No. 2-seed in the postseason tournament.

Through the long win streaks and the daily practice regimes, Stanley said he was amazed at how the Knights handled the pressure that built up with their success.

“There were no fights or arguments with this group,” he said. “That feels rare in these situations. They just were always there for one another and did everything for a higher power.”

LCA looked ready for the spotlight and got assistance in grabbing an early lead against Mariemont.

Just under five minutes after kickoff, a long throw-in from left of the net by Audrey Stanley was intended for Lillian Weller, but a Mariemont defender leapt and got a head on the ball first. It ricocheted backward though and across the net away from the goalkeeper for an own goal.

The Warriors quickly applied pressure afterward to get the goal back and did so on a scramble following a corner opportunity at the 13:16 mark of the half.

It didn’t stop there as a prolonged possession within LCA’s 18-yard box ended in a penalty being awarded on a tackle attempt. The ensuing kick froze Allport as Mariemont grabbed the lead.

LCA spent most of the remaining time keeping the defense on its heels and continued on out of the halftime break. Weller, the MBC’s leading scorer, faced constant double teams as the focus of the defense to try and limit her chances. Mariemont didn’t need to have the ball long though as a quick corner led to a 3-1 lead with 34 minutes remaining.

The Knights got one back on a shot from roughly 25 yards out by Weller. Allport also fought off two breakaway chances in the final 20 minutes to keep her team close, drawing praise from Stanley.

“She had a good match against CJ earlier this year, but this one was right up there,” he said

A late charge nearly saw LCA score an equalizer during a frantic final few minutes before a defender positioned along a post on the goalline was in the right place at the right time to act as a wall.

Anna Sweeney’s last centering play was cleared back to the other side of the field to allow the final seconds to tick away.

The ball doesn’t always bounce your way in soccer, but it did on many occasions for the Legacy Christian girls soccer team this season.

LCA players were at the top of the MBC in nearly every category this season. Weller scored more than 50 goals to rank in the top-20 highest single seasons in state history. She joined Allie Graves and Sweeney as the top points accumulators, while they were joined by Audrey Stanley to finish top-4 in total assists.

Brett said he remembers watching some of the team’s younger players compete last year in middle school and knew they would come up and be an “awesome” group to contribute to what the upperclassmen would bring.

The group as a whole will be remembered as the one that completed the leap to play for a title, but Stanley said he thinks they will most of all enjoy looking back at the journey leading up to the accomplishments.

“I remember my time at Xenia and how it was those moments leading to our run,” he said. “I think this group will realize their time together is their favorite time more than the wins.”

Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on X (formerly Twitter) @Steven_Wright_.

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