LOVELAND – In high school tournament soccer, it only takes one goal to win as Loveland High School’s girls team found out Oct. 18 in their final game of the season.
The No. 5 seed Lady Tigers fell short to the No. 9 seed St. Ursula, 1-0 for an early exit from the Division I postseason.
It was their first loss since Aug. 23.
Coach Todd Kelly’s crew had started the season 1-2 with losses to McNicholas and Mason, but had been undefeated in their next 13 games.
“We had a lot of youth on the team and it might have caught up with us in that game,” Kelly said. “I think we were the better team, but we weren’t the better team on Saturday (Oct. 18). That’s one of the most brutal and unforgiving things about soccer; the best team doesn’t always win. If we play them multiple times, I think we would probably beat them if we were on our best game.”
In a one-and-out format, it was St. Ursula who peaked for the victory to earn a spot in the sectional final. Loveland finished the season 12-3-2 and 5-0-2 in the league for the Eastern Cincinnati Conference championship.
Four seniors now depart, but 18 players could return. It’s one of the bigger rosters Kelly has had in his 18 years at Loveland.
Corynne Swift, Haleigh Goedde, Katie Wright and Abby Klueh said their on-field goodbyes after the difficult loss. Current plans call for Swift to continue her career at Walsh, with Goedde playing at Tiffin.
Both are among the numerous Lady Tigers up for Cincinnati Hills League and city honors. Both were also four-year varsity players. Swift led the team in scoring and was third in the CHL, Goedde was second on the team and eighth in the league.
“They won 50 games in their four years,” Kelly said. “Those two have accomplished quite a bit.”
Swift’s freshman sister, Colleen, is part of the youth movement that should provide Loveland some depth for years to come. The Lady Tigers featured five freshman, eight sophomores and five juniors.
Among those finishing in the top 30 in the CHL in scoring for Loveland were juniors Courtney Spicer and Andrea Gomez, sophomores Claire Beran and Danielle Kenyon and freshmen Taylor Nuncio and the younger Swift.
Junior Hannah Fischer and freshmen keepers Lauren Parker and Taylor Thole anchored the defense.
“They (the younger players) are pretty talented and the other piece was we were dealing with injuries at the time,” Kelly said. “(Claire) Beran missed eight games and she was our top goal scorer returning. That gave some opportunities to freshmen and sophomores that kind of took advantage of the time. That bodes well for the future.”