By Rob Kiser
The Lehman girls soccer team may have gone into Tuesday’s game ranked tied for second in the state in D-III with just one loss this season and Miami East may have come in just one game over .500.
But, Lehman coach Jeremy Lorenzo knows that means nothing when the two traditionally strong programs take the soccer pitch against each other.
So, it was no surprise to Lorenzo that it took the Cavaliers more than 36 minutes to get on the board, before adding two more goals in the second half for a 3-0 victory.
“This summer, like a few other times, we fared very well against Miami East,” Lorenzo said. “But, when we play them in the regular season, we see a different Miami East — a much improved Miami East team. We knew it was going to be a battle.”
Miami East coach Lil Carson agreed.
“In the summer, we don’t have all of our players there — it is definitely not our entire team,” she said. “I thought we came out and battled — especially the first 35 minutes.”
It wasn’t until just 3:57 remained in the opening half, when a perfectly placed ball by Amanda Titterington on a free kick led to the game’s first goal.
Hannah Fogt chased down the chipped ball in the right side of the box and sent it perfectly into the left corner of the net.
“That was big to get a goal before half,” Lorenzo said. “That is a set piece we run and we haven’t got much out of this year. It was nice to see it pay off like that.”
It was a tough one for the Vikings to give up.
“I think that took something out of us (giving up a goal right before half),” Carson said.
Still, Lorenzo was pretty nervous for much of the second half — despite a Lehman defense that has been outstanding all season.
That changed when Liz Pax finished a cross from Rylie McIver in front of the East goal midway through the second half.
“Being up one goal is scary,” Lorenzo said. “The field is muddy and the footing isn’t really good. And East is a good offensive team.”
Carson also said that goal was a backbreaker.
“Getting down two goals is tough,” she said. “They have only given up three goals all season.”
Lehman finished the scoring when Samantha Edwards took a ball by Molly Safreed and found the net from the right corner of the box.
“Sam (Samantha Edwards) has been struggling a little bit,” Lorenzo said. “It was great to see her be able to finish on that ball.”
Lehman outshot East 31-13.
Camille Brown had 11 saves in goal for the Lady Cavaliers, 10-1-1, who face another challenge in a road game with Anna Thursday.
Katie Bodenmiller had 10 saves for East, 4-4-4. The Lady Vikings will host Bethel Thursday.
“That (this being good preparation for a tournament game) is one of the things I told the girls,” Carson said. “We can’t worry about our record. We have four or five games to get ready for the tournament and this was a good one to start with.”
In another battle on the soccer pitch from two traditional powers.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.