By Rob Kiser
BELLEFONTAINE — The Lehman Catholic girls soccer team was “Golden” Thursday night.
And a little revenge doing it never hurts anything.
Lehman put together what may have been its best effort of the season in a D-III district championship game at Bellefontaine High School, stunning previously unbeaten Anna 4-0.
While the Rockets were missing their starting goalie, it was a dominating performance by Lehman, outshooting Anna 35-8 and scoring four goals on a two that had only allowed two all season.
While Anna closes its season at 17-1-0, Lehman improves to 13-4-1 and will play Madeira at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Fairmont High School.
“Our motto this year was no more silver,” Lehman coach Jeremy Lorenzo said referring to the Cavaliers district runnerup trophies the previous two seasons. “We wanted gold this year. We probably have talked about it so much the kids are tired of hearing it.”
Beating a rival Anna team that had beaten Lehman 2-1 several weeks ago just made it that much sweeter.
“Revenge,” senior Molly Safreed said about the big win. “For sure, it was revenge. We were disappointed after that first game. But, we watched a lot of films and we were ready.”
And while Lehman controlled the ball much of the game, it was still scoreless at halftime.
“That is the way Anna plays,” Lorenzo said. “They can score quickly. And to be honest, we really didn’t get that many shots in the first half.”
But, that all changed less than five minutes into the second half.
After Grace Monnin rocketed a shot that the Anna goalie couldn’t control, it deflected to Safreed, who was in perfect position in front of the goal for the follow — and she tapped it in with 35:28 on the clock.
“It is unfortunate that Anna’s starting goalie couldn’t play,” Lorenzo said. “Their backup goalie did a good job. But, we talked about wanting to make sure we followed shots. And Molly (Safreed) was right there to put the ball in.”
As soon as it went in, Safreed jumped into the arms of her teammates to celebrate.
“Just a relief I think (to get a goal on the board),” Safreed said.
Then, only a great save from keeper Camille Brown kept Anna from scoring the equalizer at the 28:01 mark.
Anna’s Rylie Edwards was able to get to a long ball first and the Lady Rockets had a 1v1 on Brown.
“When the ball was first kicked, I thought Camille (Brown) would get to the ball (first),” Lorenzo said. “The Anna girl (Rylie Edwards) did a great job closing on the ball. Then, that was just an amazing save by Brown.”
Coming out of the goal to challenge the shot, Brown reached out with her arm and nearly caught the shot. The ball deflected a few yards behind her and she quickly fell on it.
“I just knew I had to make the save,” Brown said. “I saw the ball behind and just jumped on it right away.”
After that, it was all Lehman.
Lindsey Magoteaux hit a shot off the crossbar with 26:05 remaining, then in a five-minute span, Lehman scored three more goals to make it 4-0.
First, Safreed rocketed a shot in from 30 yards out after getting a ball from Ava Behr.
“Really, the feeling was just a relief,” Safreed said. “This probably was (the best moment she has had on a soccer field).”
Lorenzo was not surprised to see Safreed drill a shot over the goalie’s head into the top of the net.
“That (the shot) is really Molly’s (Safreed) sweet spot,” Lorenzo said. “More times than not, if she gets that shot, she is going to score.”
At the 23:02 mark, Samantha Edwards maneuvered her way around several Anna defenders and hit a shot that was just wide. But, Magoteaux was right there for the deflection and it was 3-0.
“Samantha (Edwards) really did a great job getting that shot off,” Lorenzo said. “And to see a freshman like Lindsey Magoteaux there for the follow, that was great to see.”
At the 20:55 mark, Grace Olding took a ball from Lyndsey Jones from 20 yards out and fired a shot into the goal to make it 4-0.
“It was great to see Grace (Olding) hit that shot,” Lorenzo said. “She is a really good offensive player even though she probably hasn’t scored as much this year as she would like.”
That brought out the chants of “17-1” from the Lehman students and it was just a matter of the clock running out.
“The last 10 minutes, that was horrible,” Brown said. “Just waiting for the clock to run out. This just feels amazing.”
Aided by a non-goalie save by Abby Jones in the final minutes, Brown picked up the shutout.
“We have been in these games before,” Lorenzo said about the district final. “Some of the things that happened tonight — those are the things that have to happen if you are going to win these games. We are healthy and playing our best soccer right now. We knew we needed 110 percent effort from these kids tonight and that is what we got.”
Which provided a “Golden” moment, with some sweet revenge as an added bonus.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.