Trailing 1-0 at the half, the Catholic Central High School girls soccer team expected Milton-Union to sit back and defend for the final 40 minutes.
The Irish held the majority of the possession nearly all of the second half, but could never find the breakthrough it needed to even the score.
“We just couldn’t get a shot off, that was the thing,” said Catholic Central coach Mark Derr said. “I felt like we dominated the second half completely. Other than a couple of misplays, we probably dominated the whole game.”
Milton-Union senior midfielder Kristin Dickison scored with about five minutes remaining in the first half and the Bulldogs held on to beat the Irish 1-0 in a Division III, Dayton 3 district semifinal match at Beavercreek’s Miami Valley Hospital Stadium on Tuesday.
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The Irish finished the season 12-4-1.
“We couldn’t have played it any better,” Derr said. “You’ve got to put the ball in the net and sometimes that’s the way this game goes — you dominate every part of the game except the scoreboard. … Soccer is one of those games that to me is a cruel game. You can do everything right, play a good game and still lose.”
The goal was Dickison’s 38th of the season for the Bulldogs (13-3-1), who advanced to play Madeira in a D-III district final match on Saturday.
“We let her get a break and that cost us,” Derr said.
The Irish pressured the Bulldogs throughout the second half, but couldn’t get the finishes it needed at the net, Derr said. Catholic Central had 12 shots on goal.
With 12 minutes remaining, Becca Samosky found an opening just outside inside of the 6-yard, but her shot sailed wide of the net.
Libby Woeber had eight saves for the Irish, including a key stop with about nine minutes remaining that kept her team in the game down the stretch.
The Irish entered the season with 17 players and immediately lost two of its top returning players to season-ending injuries, Derr said. The played the majority of the season with just 15 healthy players.
“I think it’s outstanding what they’ve done and what they’ve accomplished,” he said. “I think what they accomplished this year was amazing considering the adversity we’ve run into this season.”
The Irish will graduate six seniors — Megan Galluch, Maggie Bruce, Kirsten Beals, Taylor Baker, Sydney Yontz and Abby Erter — who appeared in two district final matches and earned a share of the Ohio Heritage Conference title in 2017.
“They’re great kids and great students,” Derr said. “I’m going to miss them. They’ve been a huge part of this program for four years. It’s going to be sad to see them go.”