By Rob Kiser
The Piqua girls soccer team got back on track Wednesday night, blanking Stebbins 2-0 in GWOC American action.
Piqua improved to 3-1-2 overall and 3-0-1 in GWOC American play, while Stebbins dropped to 1-5-0 overall and 1-3-0 in GWOC American play..
“It was better,” Piqua coach Brett Ritter said. “We still have a long way to go.”
Despite dominating the play and controlling the ball, the game was almost 35 minutes old before Piqua got on the board.
With just over five minutes remaining in the first half, Haily McPherson rocketed a shot off the left post and chased down the ricochet.
Tayler Grunkemeyer then made a perfect pass past the goalie and Grace Forness tapped it in from in front of the net.
“Those are all things we work on in practice,” Ritter said. “It was (big getting on the board) just to get the monkey off our backs. We have been struggling to finish. I know we can do it. It is just that sometimes when you are struggling, it gets in your head.”
McPherson then played add-on just over three minutes into the second half, scoring from the leftside off an assist from Grunkemeyer.
“It is great to have her out there,” Ritter said about McPherson, who is coming off a knee injury. “She is one of our leaders out there.”
Stebbins best chance to score came with just under two-minutes remaining.
Rya Sumlin had a breakaway towards the Piqua goal, but Tanner Grise came out of the goal to make the save.
Grise finished with eight saves, while Stebbins’ goalie Audrey Paddon had six.
Piqua outshot Stebbins 12-8.
“I have to give my assistant coach Ashley (Hamilton) a lot of credit for that,” Ritter said. “Tanner was very timid before and Ashley has been working with her on being more aggressive.”
In JV action, Piqua recorded a 2-1 victory.
Ava Rowley scored both Piqua goals.
Piqua will be back in action Saturday, playing at Graham.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.