July 24, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Cloverleaf girls soccer team makes history


Special to The Gazette

WADSWORTH — Cloverleaf made history Wednesday night by winning the first outright Suburban League girls soccer title in school history.

On the strength of two goals that came one minute apart, the Colts stayed undefeated on the season and in the Suburban League with a 2-0 win over Wadsworth at Art Wright Stadium.

“It’s been a long 10 years,” said Cloverleaf coach Val Baughman, whose squad tied for the SL title in 1998. “It seems like a lifetime ago. I’m really excited for the girls. They’ve worked so hard and they get along so well.”

The Colts showed their exuberance after the last second ticked off the clock. The bench emptied and the field was filled with players in green jerseys hugging, laughing and shouting.

“It feels great,” Cloverleaf senior captain Aly Rice said. “I think it’s the start of Cloverleaf becoming a really good program.”

Against the Grizzlies (9-3-1, 3-2-1), the Colts (10-0-2, 5-0-1) displayed exactly what has made them a force this season.

Using a dominant defense and timely scoring, Cloverleaf was in control for virtually the entire contest.

For the ninth time in 12 games, Cloverleaf shut out its opponent. The Colts have yielded three goals the entire season and only one in SL play.

Cloverleaf limited the Grizzlies to only four shots, none of which came from a close distance.

“They made us flustered with the way they were playing defense with four in the back,” Wadsworth senior forward Jackie Lowdermilk said. “We usually play short, quick passes, but we weren’t able to do that.”

A goal from Hanna Cavalier put the Colts ahead 1-0 with 21:52 left in the first half.

One minute later, Katie Roberts found the back of the net after she hustled after a loose ball that trickled near the Wadsworth goal.

Roberts chased down Wadsworth defender Heather Benya, who got to the ball first. Roberts finagled the ball away and beat goalkeeper Victoria Bathrick, who had come out to challenge, for her county-leading  19th goal of the season.

“We didn’t have the control of the game like we wanted,” Rice said. “After those two goals, we knew we had it. We went into the locker room and said we weren’t going to allow a goal.”

Ferrise may be reached at sports@ohio.net.