MONROE – Though they didn’t win the Cincinnati Hills League the Wyoming High School boys soccer team made its longest run in the tournament in recent history this fall. In the Division II regional final, Wyoming fell short against Carroll, 2-1.
An early second half goal by Carroll senior midfielder Spencer Kreinbrink held up as the Patriots moved on to the state semifinals. Carroll avenged a 1-0 loss to Wyoming in last year’s tournament.
In the bright autumn matinee at Monroe High School, the game started sluggish. Both teams had goals disallowed due to offside calls in the opening 20 minutes.
Finally, Wyoming got a breakaway pass to senior captain Jay Klein with 17:06 remaining in the half. Klein calmly lined the ball into the net for the game’s first score.
The Cowboys appeared to be heading to the break with a lead, until sophomore Eli Ramsey of Carroll placed a foot on a crossing pass to knot the game.
Five minutes into the second half, the Patriots took a 2-1 advantage courtesy of Kreinbrink’s eventual game-winning kick.
With less than 14 minutes left, Wyoming had several chances near the Patriot goal to tie. With the sphere banging around as if in a pinball machine, it appeared the Cowboys would get a fortuitous bounce. However, it was covered by Carroll sophomore Ben Wourms and Wyoming couldn’t get any closer the rest of the contest.
“It was disappointing for sure,” Wyoming coach Steve Thomas said. “Dayton Carroll’s just a fantastic team and program. I thought we gave them everything they would want to handle. They just happened to be better today.”
The Cowboys finished the regular season 11-3-2 before reeling off tournament victories against Norwood, Clinton Massie, McNicholas, Kenton Ridge and Bishop Hartley by a combined score of 24-2. The Hartley win at Wright State was a double-overtime thriller featuring Andrew Derge scoring both goals.
It was the final game for 11 seniors who have experienced considerable success under Steve Thomas. Jay Klein was the leading scorer for the season. Also taking their final kicks were Marshall Hays, Tristan Kovach, Reece Dow, Nolan Morley, Nicholas Robles, Seth Dewitt, Christopher Rutter, Charlie Oliver, Nathan Gressel and Ivan Meisner.
“We had great senior leadership and my three captains (Klein, Dewitt, Meisner) did a great job this year,” Thomas said. “I’m very proud of them.”
In his 11th season, Thomas was mere inches from a possible chance at overtime and Wyoming’s first state semifinal. Instead, it was hugs and goodbyes to a veteran group and a look ahead to the Cowboys of 2016.
“We have some really good players on JV,” Thomas said. “They’re small. I told them at the end of the JV season that varsity is a man’s game. They’re going to have to get bigger and stronger. We’re definitely going to miss these 11 seniors.”
Wyoming will return second-leading scorer Andrew Derge who was first team All-State last year. Thomas expects Derge and departing senior and top scorer Jay Klein to gain state recognition again.