JAMESTOWN — To lose is one thing, but to lose on the seniors’ final home match of the season? That’s even tougher.
There wasn’t many dry eyes among the Greeneview Rams girls varsity soccer team after Tuesday night’s 1-0 loss to Ohio Heritage Conference foe West Liberty-Salem.
Barely five minutes into the girls contest, West Liberty-Salem freshman Gabby Hollar found herself behind the Greeneview goalkeeper in control or the ball, deep in Rams territory. Hollar fired off a shot from the right side and just got the ball past the Rams goalkeeper Brooke Eakle for the only goal of the match.
Rams girls varsity coach Shawn Brown credited Eakle with solid play despite giving up the one goal. Eakle prevented a second goal late in the contest, when the Tigers Ashley Rabenstein appeared to knock in a rebound of teammate Madison Bender’s shot that boinked off the Rams crossbar. Eakle caught Rabenstein’s shot, but one official had initially ruled that Eakle was in the goal when she made the catch. After consulting with the other officials, the score was waved off.
“It was our first loss of the season on our home field, which makes it tough,” Brown said. “Overall, I’m pleased with how we played. We didn’t play bad, we just didn’t finish today.
“Brooke Eakle played really well today, she kept us in the game. The middle of the field didn’t do bad today. We play a lot of players in the middle of the field, but they held their own today. I thought they played well.
After the match, the West Liberty-Salem team attempted to have a photo taken with them around the Greeneview victory bell, but when Rams fans booed them for doing so, the team walked away from the bell.
With the win, WLS (12-1-0, 7-1-0 OHC) is in the driver’s seat in terms of winning the Ohio Heritage title. They play their final league game against Springfield Catholic Central, a team that handed the Tigers their only loss of the season thus far. Win, and WLS will win the OHC crown. Lose, combined with Greeneview winning out and the two teams will share the title with identical league marks.
GREENEVIEW BOYS WIN 7-0 IN NIGHTCAP
The boys match didn’t get started until 8 p.m., because of Senior Night ceremonies which were held between games. But good things come to those who wait. Greeneview’s boys bunch claimed their first outright Ohio Heritage Conference title since 2005 with Tuesday night’s win.
“These guys are OHC Champs! We still have an OHC game on Saturday, but this win ensures that we will win at least a share of the title,” Greeneview Rams coach Bob Eakins said. “… This senior class is exceptional. They play hard, they play well, they play together, and I’m very proud of them.”
Seniors Jacob Mickle and Austin Cyphers got the scoring started for the undefeated boys squad. Mickle launched a right-to-left pass to Cyphers who scored from close range with 33:24 left to play in the opening half.
Senior goalie Jack Randall was given a rare opportunity to take a penalty kick 13 minutes into the half, but he shot attempt sailed over the Tigers goal.
Mickle scored the second goal of the match, off a cross from Rams senior teammate Josh Jenkins, with 10 minutes left to play in the half.
Seniors continued to get into the act as senior forward Jaden Baise crossed to Cyphers for a close-range goal into the right side of the Tigers net for a 3-0 lead with 12 minutes left in the half.
Roughly 14 minutes into the second half, Jenkins took a soft pass from Baise for a rolling score into the left side of the WLS goal to put the Rams out front, 5-0.
Junior Brayden Woods got into the scoring fun when he took a pass from Baise and scored with 14 minutes left to play in the match.
Mickle recorded a solo goal with five minutes left to play for the final tally.
Both Greeneview teams return to action Thursday at the Athletes In Action Sports Complex fields in Xenia, when they’ll host Pitsburg Franklin-Monroe for a pair of non-league matches.
John Bombatch can be reached at (937) 372-4444, Ext. 2123.