XENIA — The Bellbrook Golden Eagles almost pulled off another upset in their magical soccer tournament run Tuesday.
Down two goals to the No. 3 Miamisburg Vikings, 11th-seeded Bellbrook tied the match and forced two overtimes before losing, 3-2, in a Division-I district semifinal at Xenia’s Doug Adams Stadium.
Miamisburg’s Katie Cummings took a pass from a teammate after a mis-cleared ball by Bellbrook and powered a shot into the goal with 12:40 left in the second overtime to send the Vikings to their first district final.
Formerly known as sudden death, then sudden victory, and currently the golden goal, it brought an abrupt ending to Bellbrook’s four game winning streak that included tourney wins at No. 7 Fairmont and No. 5 Sidney.
“We’ve given up a couple of those,” Coach Brad Stork said. “You leave the ball in the box long enough, it finds the net eventually.”
That it came to that point is a testament to Bellbrook, which ends its season 11-7-1.
Miamisburg controlled the ball much of the first half and scored 15 minutes in when Kayla Gieszl took a pass from Cummings and drilled a hard liner to the far left corner.
Bellbrook’s best chance to score came with about 3:30 left in the half when a direct kick hit off the post.
The Vikings (13-6) made it 2-0 about 10 minutes into the second half when Cummings was on a run and finished to the far post. That appeared to be more enough for the Vikings, but a pair of mistakes by their keeper gave Bellbrook a chance.
With 16:48 left, a ‘Burg player passed the ball back to the keeper, who by rule couldn’t pick it up. Bellbrook freshman Lily Schindler didn’t give up on the play and as the keeper went to clear it, Schindler challenged her and got a foot on the ball to knock it backwards toward the goal, leading to an easy tap-in and a 2-1 game.
About 11 minutes later, sophomore MJ Little was on a run in the box and the keeper came out to try a sliding save/stop. She couldn’t corral the ball and appeared lay on top of Little — preventing her from getting up — leading to a penalty kick with 5:58 left.
Sophomore Kelley Griffin converted to tied it a 2-2.
“Just effort goals,” Stork said. “We just found our confidence today. We never quit.”
That late-game effort wasn’t because of any extra encouragement from Stork. That’s been the norm all year.
“I really don’t have to do that, that’s the beauty of it,” he said. “They’ve just never given up the whole season. It’s just been amazing to watch. Even though we were the 11 seed, I came in really confident.”
Miamisburg will play Mt. Notre Dame, the No. 1 seed in Cincinnati, in one of the district finals on Saturday.