The bus ride home from Lima must have been a hoot for Clay’s girls’ soccer team Wednesday night.
The Eagles not only took care of business by crushing Lima Senior 8-0, they also got good news during the match that St. Ursula Academy had tied Notre Dame Academy, 1-1, earlier Wednesday.
Clay needed a Notre Dame loss or tie against SUA in order to clinch the Three Rivers Athletic Conference championship. The Eagles were up two goals on Lima Senior when 12th-year Clay coach Scott Wamer learned of Notre Dame’s fate.
|Clay Senior Kendyl Christian gets past a
defender in Clay's 1-0 conference victory
St. Ursula - a win critical to winning the
league title(Photos by Scott Grau)
|Clay aenior co-cap-
“We did have somebody there watching the game,” Wamer said. “Once we heard a final score, I took all my seniors off the field and sat them on the bench and told them. They earned it. It was just jubilation. They were really excited.”
Senior stopper and co-captain Lindsay Schiavone, a three-year starter, said, “All of us seniors started smiling and cheering and hugging each other. It’s great to know all the hard work paid off. It was kind of a relief. We put in a lot of time in the offseason and came together as a team and really worked together.”
Clay improved to 8-6-2 overall and 6-1 in the TRAC with Wednesday’s win. Notre Dame dropped to 5-1-1 in the TRAC, while St. Ursula improved to 4-2-1.
Senior striker Kendyl Christian had two goals for the Eagles against Lima Senior (1-6 TRAC).
“We really spread the ball around,” Wamer said. “We knew we were playing a weaker team.”
Notre Dame beat Clay by a 3-1 margin on Sept. 19, and Clay beat St. Ursula 1-0 this season. It was one of junior goalie Alyssa Heintschel’s five TRAC shutouts this season.
“When Notre Dame beat us, we knew we had to beat Findlay,” Wamer said. “When we beat Findlay, we knew Notre Dame still had to play Findlay and St. Ursula. Findlay beat Notre Dame 1-0 last Wednesday.”
The championship is Wamer’s fourth league title at Clay and is the Eagles’ first title since they won the Northwest Ohio Scholastic Soccer League championship in 2008.
“This is unbelievable, pretty special,” Wamer said. “At the preseason coaches’ meeting we were voted to finish fifth and our girls thought, no respect. We lost three league games last year by one goal, to Findlay, St. Ursula and Central, and we only had two seniors last season. Them voting us fifth this year worked to my advantage. It was a motivator.”
Schiavone said she and her teammates never worried about what other coaches said. The Eagles finished fifth in the TRAC last year.
“We wanted to go out and play our game and not worry about everyone else,” Schiavone said. “Our team really came together as one team and that really helped us throughout the season.”
Clay graduates six seniors — Schiavone, Christian, Kasey O’Shea, Sarah Row, Megan Soncrant and Abby Groll — from this year’s team.
However, the future continues to look bright. The Eagles’ junior varsity squad, coached by Stacy Lucas, tied for the conference title for the second straight year. Clay headed into Thursday’s final match of the season against Oak Harbor with a 10-2-2 record, including 4-1 in the TRAC.