By Rob Kiser
SIDNEY — After arriving late due to a traffic tie up, the Franklin Monroe girls faced the state-ranked Lehman Catholic girls soccer team in the D-III sectional opener for the Lady Cavaliers, after Lehman took a first-round bye.
And while Lehman outshot FM 39-0 in a 7-0 victory, Lehman coach Jeremy Lorenzo was taking nothing for granted before the game.
Lehman will play Urbana in the sectional finals at 7 p.m. Monday at Franklin.
“You are always nervous at the first tournament game,” Lorenzo said. “You know you are going to get the other team’s best shot. And you know it is going to be emotional, because it is the seniors last time playing on their home field.”
And Franklin Monroe’s strategy — which was partially responsible for the difference in shots — was clear from the start.
Keep eight to nine players in the box to try and prevent Lehman from scoring.
“That is kind of what we were expecting,” Lorenzo said. “And we trained for it. In games like this, they are not really worried about scoring. They just want to keep it tied and maybe get a PK (penalty kick) to win.”
And while it took a little while for Lehman to get on the board, the Cavaliers foiled that strategy by going up 3-0 at halftime and adding four more goals in the second half.
It appeared Lehman had taken a 1-0 lead with 29:01 remaining when Molly Safreed scored after FM failed to clear the ball — but Lehman was whistled for offsides.
Four minutes later, Lindsey Magoteuax broke the ice — taking a cross from Rylie McIver and putting it in the back of the net.
It become 2-0 at the 19:36 mark when Allison Bornhorst was fouled in the box and Grace Olding converted the PK.
“It took us a little bit to score,” Lorenzo said. “But, that was a pretty good shot (by Lindsey Magoteaux) and then Grace (Olding) did a great job on the PK.”
There was just 2:32 left in the half when Ava Behr scored off a cross from Grace Monnin to make it 3-0 at the break.
“We went almost 20 minutes before we scored again,” Lorenzo said. “Then, we got the goal right before half. We talked about things at halftime and made some adjustments.”
Safreed and Monnin traded roles on the first two goals after the break.
Safreed scored off a Monnin assist with 31:58 to go in the game, then returned the favor — assisting on a Monnin goal at the 26:26 mark to make it 5-0.
Magoteaux scored a second goal off a second McIver assist with 10:25 to go and Liz Gibson capped the scoring on an assist from Grace Dexter.
Although they rarely touched the ball — Camille Brown and Hannah Giguere combined for the shutout in goal.
And while Lehman improved to 11-4-1 on the season, Lorenzo still saw plenty of room for improvement.
The Lady Cavaliers just missed on a number of scoring opportunities on the night.
“That has kind of been the story of our season,” Lorenzo said. “I know it seems strange to say we struggled a little on offense when we score seven goals, but when we have opportunities, we have to be able to finish.”
And now that Lehman has that first tournament win out of the way, Lorenzo looks to do exactly that on Monday against Urbana.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.