Archbold had their dreams of back-to-back Northwest Ohio Athletic League girls soccer titles crushed Tuesday as visiting Liberty Center fired home a goal with under a minute and a half to go, winning 1-0 at Ruihley Park.
After some decent chances by the Bluestreaks late in the contest, the Tigers’ Samantha Engler put a beautiful ball on net from the left side of the net that found its way past Archbold goalkeeper Reagan Kohler with 1:21 remaining.
“Awful to lose, especially no chance at the leagues now,” stated Archbold assistant coach Jennifer Kidder. “But you know what, we played (hard), and we were right with them the whole time. That was one unfortunate shot. I even feel like we outplayed them in the second half. Possessed the ball the majority of the second half. One shot was all it took. Unfortunately we know how that goes.”
The Streaks dropped to 4-1 in the league with a game against Evergreen coming next week. Liberty Center finishes at 6-0 as they have a league bye next week.
Archbold struggled to get quality opportunities in the first half, but they made the necessary adjustments at halftime.
With 32:53 to go, Kalyn Baker curled a corner kick to the net, however, LC goalkeeper Riley Miller was there for the save. Archbold’s Natalee Rose then had a look from roughly 15 yards out 3:53 later, a shot that was also gobbled up by Miller.
“We got back to working in triangles, possessing the ball, small passes and making the runs that way,” said Kidder of the Streaks’ success in the second half. “That’s what was working for us. Our girls played awesome tonight. They played a great game. They (Liberty Center) just played a little bit greater.”
In the first half, the Tigers nearly got a goal on a Jillian Hoffman corner kick. She got it to Lydia Ball whose shot rested on top of the net at the 26:06 mark.
This was one of many Tiger chances in the first 40 minutes.
However, Archbold started to get things together by the end of the half. Chloe Nofziger shot a corner kick that was received by Andi Peterson at the 2:28 mark, but her header attempt was saved by Miller.
The Streaks’ goal now is to be playing their best ball come tournament time. The tournament draw is this Sunday.
“I would say that our focus would be, two games left (in the regular season), you know finish strong,” said Kidder. “But then it’s definitely focusing on districts where I would imagine that we would have a great chance at meeting them for a district championship this year.”
Archbold (9-1-4, 4-1 NWOAL) hosts Toledo Central Catholic Monday before visiting Evergreen next Thursday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010