NEWARK – Granville ran away with a Division II regional final win at White Field in Newark.
The Blue Aces got two goals a piece by Rose Sawyers and Katie Cox in the first half to cruise out to a 6-0 lead en route to a 10-1 final. Sawyers and Taylor Beitzel finished with hat tricks.
Tri-Valley, which graduated four seniors off this team, coupled with a large senior class last year, made its deepest run into the post season in school history, according to coach Emily Reilly.
“(Granville) was just much faster than us,” Reilly said. “We played a very defensive game and I am not sure why. It looked like many times we had seven girls behind the ball, where they might have only had two. It was just in their mindset. Even though we had some seniors, it was inexperience of being this far. This was a good run and it gives us a place to start next year.”
For Granville, though, a trip back to the state tournament was its place to start.
“Ever since tasting it two years ago, this is the expectation,” Granville coach Scott Forster said.
Tri-Valley started the game with control, making short passes and packing the ball into space. The passes were short and concise until Granville grabbed possession and started expanding the field.
“The girls are smart and they adjust well to all styles of play,” Forster said. “They are really good at dictating how we play.”
Granville got its first goal from Sawyers, who was pushing the pace early on. Reilly Welles sent in a header to make it 2-0 with 25 minutes to play in the first half and Cox made it 3-0 three minutes later. Cox, Sawyers and Beitzel each scored again the the first half as the Blue Aces had command of the game.
Beitzel, though, put it away. Including the last goal in the first half, she scored the first two in the second half, making it 8-0 just four minutes in. Cox scored on a rebound and Hannah Musick scored the final Granville goal.
“We just like to score as quickly as possible. Rose gets us going and that really calms our nerves,” Beitzel said.
Tori Long was a calming force on defense. with a torn ACL she suffered a month ago, she made sure all was right in the Granville defense.
“I just braced up and it wasn’t too bad,” Long said. “It is my senior year and I love my teammates so much. I was really upset that I missed that many games.”
Tri-Valley’s Chloe Williams scored the only goal of the game for the Scotties with 18 minutes remaining in the contest. It also was the only goal scored on the Blue Aces the entire post season.
The Scotties graduate Madeline Dunn, Kenzie Dorr, Kendal Wilson and Hope Maziar.
“Those are program kids,” Reilly said. “They really wanted to win and the younger kids wanted to win for them. They have shown good leadership all year.”
Granville will now face Cincinnati Indian Hill Tuesday at 7 p.m. at a site to be determined. Indian Hill took down Dayton Carroll 2-1.
So far this post season, Granville has outscored its opponents 40-1.
Tri-Valley played closer games throughout the post season than Granville did, beating New Philadelphia and Minerva 2-1 each before falling to Granville.
The Blue Aces had a decidedly easier road. Big Walnut gave Granville its closest game, 2-0 as the Aces beat their other three opponents by a combined 28-0 coming into Saturday’s contest.