BG misses out on opportunities
Statistics in a high school soccer game usually consist of shots on goal, corner kicks and saves. Scoring opportunities are something not usually kept, but if they were Tuesday night, the Bishop Guilfoyle girls team would have held an advantage in bunches.
However, bunches don’t materialize in the form of goals and the Lady Marauders unfortunately found that out at Mansion Park in the District 6 1A championship game, losing 2-1 to defending champion West Branch.
“I actually thought three goals would win it, but we didn’t get ours in the second half,” BG coach Joe DeLeo said.
All the scoring came in the first half with West Branch (17-2) getting the first one at the 37:25 mark, when Mariah Hayles floated a free kick over keeper Maren Stayer that was just too high to stop.
“Mariah was a star there in the center for us,” West Branch coach Angie Fenush said.
Guilfoyle, 14-2 and the No. 1 seed this year, had four solid opportunities to score starting at the 34:40 mark, involving the likes of Lainey Farabaugh and Aurielle Brunner. It was Brunner who got off a shot on a pass from Farabaugh on the left side. It got past Lady Warrior goalie Sarah Betts at the 31:02 mark for a 1-1 tie.
“I felt like we were in it the whole game,” DeLeo said. “They knocked us out last year in the semifinals … it was something like 5-0 but we felt we could keep it close.”
Trinity Prestash, the Lady Warriors leading scorer and senior captain, made it 2-1 at the 18:32 mark when she stopped a ball and turned and shot it from 30-plus yards out for what turned out to be the winning goal.
“BG came out really strong. My hats off to them. They are so fast. Those girls should run track,” Fenush said. “We made our shots count.”
The second half was basically played in front of Betts as BG put the pressure on with opportunities, or chances, depending on what team you were on. Between the likes of Grace Callahan, Dani Scipioni, Rachel Simanski, Rachel Nosek, Brunner and Farabaugh, BG moved the ball around, but actual solid shots on goal were hard to come by.
“We had plenty of opportunities but we just couldn’t finish it. We couldn’t capitalize. We couldn’t possess the ball. They played us deep defensively. They kind of packed it in, which is what I would have done,” DeLeo said. “That’s a good team. My hats off to them, but this was a rough one.”
Betts got to a ball that Brunner was trying to get to at the 18:56 mark to stop one chance. At the 4:48 mark, Betts got to the ball with Farabaugh and Scipioni in the area.
What made Betts’ performance even more impressive was the fact that she, along with her sister, sophomore Hannah Betts, lost their mother, Sue, to cancer on Sunday. Fenush told reporters after the game they offered to even forfeit the game but Betts and her sister would have nothing of that.
“Sarah was magical for us,” Fenush said while trying to hold back tears. “She’s been like that all year for us.”
BG out-shot the Warriors, who have gone 2-2 now in the last four district title games, 4-3. BG had five corners to three by West Branch. Stayer had one save while Betts had three.
Guilfoyle will lose Brunner, Scipioni, Simanski, Sophia Warner, Nosek, Stayer, Hope and Grace Callahan, Maren Steinbugl Abby Novak, Piper Brunhuber and Maddie Smith to graduation.
“There will be a little bit of rebuilding next year, but we have a couple of good kids coming back,” DeLeo said. “It’s always a bummer for the seniors when it ends like this.”
SCORE BY HALVES
West Branch 2 0 — 2
Bishop Guilfoyle 1 0 — 1
First Half: WB–Hayles (unassisted), 37:25; BG–Brunner (Farabaugh), 31:02; WB–Prestash (unassisted), 18:32
Second Half: No scoring
Shots on goal–West Branch 3, Bishop Guilfoyle 4
Corners–West Branch 3, Bishop Guilfoyle 5
Saves–S. Betts (WB) 3, Stayer (BG) 1
Records: West Branch (17-2), Bishop Guilfoyle (14-2).