An Ohio girls soccer team played and lost in the state championship Friday, but it was the win that got it there that was riddled with controversy.
The Strongsville (Ohio) High girls soccer team lost to Beavercreek amid heavy discussion stemming from its semifinal victory against Twinsburg.
As WKYC and other outlets reported, with just the under 12 minutes left in that previous match, Strongsville subbed in its goalie. At the same time, though, another player also ran onto the field, meaning the Mustangs played for about the next six minutes with 12 players when they were only allowed 11.
Per WKYC, the referees did not catch the mistake, and Strongsville went on to win the game, 1-0, to advance to the title game.
Strongsville parent James Bolinger, who also says he is a referee, was at the game and says no one in the stands—on either side— noticed the rule violation.
“Nobody was screaming, ’12! 12!’,” Bolinger told WKYC.
Intentional or not, a number of Twinsburg parents and fans took exception and voiced their frustration on various social media. Per WKYC, District Superintendent Kathi Powers said in a statement the violation impacted the team’s ability to score. She also said the coach violated another rule by not reporting the situation to officials.
The issue was this, though: The Ohio High School Athletic Association does not allow appeals. While Twinsburg considered filing a grievance in court, it eventually decided against that, as a ruling against them may have led to them forfeiting their regional title. Per WKYC, the school will instead file a complaint to OHSAA in regard to the officiating.
Per WKYC, the OHSAA says they are investigating the matter “internally.”