By Rob Kiser
For the Piqua girls soccer teams, scoring goals is simply a numbers game.
And Wednesday night at Wertz Stadium, it was another night where the numbers were tough to overcome in a 2-1 loss to Fairborn in GWOC American action.
Fairborn is now 1-5 overall and 1-3 in GWOC American play, while Piqua dropped to 3-4 overall and 2-2 in GWOC American play.
“We had a lot of opportunities (to score),” Piqua coach Bret Ritter said. “We are having trouble finishing when the other team drops more girls back in the box than we have. This was our seventh game and it was the fourth team that has played us this way. It is just something we are going to have to continue to deal with.”
Both teams missed opportunities to score in the opening half and the game went to the break scoreless.
While Piqua controlled the ball for much of the first 20 minutes of the second half, the Indians were not able to capitalize.
With 16:28.5 to go in the game, Piqua was called for a foul about 35 yards out and Hannah Johnson drilled the free kick into the back of the net to give Fairborn the lead.
“Fouls are unfortunate, but they are part of the game,” Ritter said.
But, it didn’t take long for Piqua to even the game back up.
Mackenzie Ellerman took advantage of a Fairborn foul just outside the box and floated the ball into the top of the net to even the score.
“You saw how quick we came back and answered,” Ritter said.
Piqua keepers Jennouleigha Tipton and Tanner Grise combined for 11 saves and Grise had a great save on a 1v1 with 12:15 to go, followed by another great non-goalie save by Ally Richardson in the final 10 minutes to keep the game tied.
“Both of our goalies did a great job tonight,” Ritter said.
But, with 5:14.2 remaining, Lauren Thomas was able to finish on a through ball from Hannah Poulter for the winning goal. Piqua’s Leanne Price was injured on the play and left the field on crutches after the game.
“We were aggressively counter attacking their attack,” Ritter said. “That is what led to the goal.”
Piqua is off until Wednesday when Stebbins visits.
“We continue to play excellent soccer,” Ritter said. “We just have to find a way to deal with being outnumbered in the box.”
And make the numbers work to the Lady Indians advantage.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.