RIVERSIDE — The Carroll girls’ soccer team has concluded their regular season with a 14-1-1 record, finishing strong with a victory Wednesday evening over the Roger Bacon Spartans. Members of the Patriots team became emotional as the clock counted down the final seconds of the match, embracing and cheering. Carroll earned a shutout over the Spartans, seniors Abby Bertke, Alaina Casey and Amelia Harlow leading their team’s defenders in thwarting Roger Bacon’s attacks. The final score: 4-0.
No goals were scored during the first half of the game. Roger Bacon and Carroll started out with fairly even possession, both teams able to take shots on the goal saved by Taylor Stahl of Roger Bacon, and Natalie Ryan of Carroll, respectively.
In the second half, Carroll quickly ramped up their intensity. Four minutes in, a scuffle broke out in a thicket of white and blue shirts inside the box. The ball was bounced around a host of Patriot and Spartan legs before being smashed into the goal, bouncing off the shin of a Spartan defender. The scoring Patriot was senior midfielder Allie Stefanek, who put Carroll up 1-0 with 35 minutes remaining.
With twelve minutes left, sophomore Samantha Kilfoyle took a free kick that sailed over the field into the waiting possession of senior Jillian Roberts, who took it in for the score. Continuing to gain exponential momentum, Roberts rocketed down the field at the three-minute mark, saving the ball from going out of bounds on the Roger Bacon side. With a single tap, Roberts centered the ball to fellow senior Cat McNamara, who slid in in an almost cinematic fashion, to tap the ball into the lower left corner. McNamara would also score the final goal of the match, off of an assist from junior Ava Lickliter.
Underclassmen players on the Patriots team gathered around their seniors as the final buzzer went off. Some of them were emotional as they traded sportsmanship high fives with the Spartans, and the seniors gathered around Carroll’s traditional “Victory Bell” to ring it one last time during the regular season.
The Lady Patriots’ season is not entirely finished, however, as they begin tournament play next week versus West Carrollton. That match will be played at Carroll’s Spoerl-Bartlett Field on Monday, October 14th.
London Bishop is a freelance sportswriter for Greene County News.