BAY VILLAGE — In soccer, it’s called being unlucky. Fans of Medina’s girls team might call it something that can’t be printed in a newspaper.
Either way, the Bees came up on the short end in their Division I regional semifinal Tuesday night, falling 2-0 to Magnificat at Bay High School.
After netting what would’ve been the go-ahead score with 15 minutes left in regulation, the Bees (13-4-3) had the goal wiped away by an offsides called that gave way to a pair of unanswered goals by the Blue Streaks, who advance to take on Anthony Wayne in the regional final Saturday.
“It’s frustrating, because when you lose and feel like you got justly beat, you can accept it,” Medina coach Doug Coreno said. “I’m not saying we got robbed, but it kind of feels that way.”
Magnificat dominated play through the first half, but the Bees came out in the second half with a different energy. It showed in them going from just one shot attempt over the first 40 minutes to four quality looks at goal in the second.
The one that caused the controversy came with 15:55 remaining, when sophomore Elizabeth Ash uncorked a shot from 20 yards out that hit the crossbar and bounced straight down and out the right side of the box. As a scrum ensued for the loose ball, junior Lauren Rafie was there to tap the bouncing ball past goalkeeper Kaleigh Piscioneri.
As Rafie touched the ball, however, the assistant referee’s flag went up indicating offsides, sending the Medina fans from jubilation to utter shock.
“We all know it was onsides and my coach was standing on the line, so I don’t know,” Rafie said. “It just bounced off the bar and I just tapped it in, but I didn’t think it was offsides.
“I was crushed. I didn’t know what the call was at first and then everyone was like, ‘Oh, you were offsides,’ and I didn’t think so.”
Neither did Ash, who took the initial shot.
“There isn’t a doubt in my head,” the midfielder said. “It’s horrible. You’re jumping up cheering for one second and then you’re crying the next.”
It was one of four offsides calls the Bees were whistled for in the second as they finished with six total shots, four of which were on goal, all stopped by Piscioneri. Two of those shot attempts were off the foot of Hannah Ludwig, while Bri Shingary had the other.
“To me, she was clearly onside when the shot was taken, so at that point when the shot is released you’re free to attack the ball,” Coreno said of Rafie’s shot. “That’s what happened. The linesman was pretty flag happy with the offsides calls.
“It’s unfortunate because we played our hearts out in the second half. We had four or five great chances and we did put one away, but unfortunately it got called back and we have to live with the call.”
The non-goal seemed to reenergize the Blue Streaks, who responded with a quick shot off the restart. Eight minutes later, Evelyn Lavelle scored off of slow dribbling tap from Alyssa Baumbick that the Bees failed to clear while the ball was loose in the box.
It was an uncharacteristic breakdown the Bees haven’t had all year.
“We failed to clear the ball and we got a little disorganized in the back,” Coreno said. “Breakdowns happen sometimes. You’re not going to play a flawless game, but it would’ve been interesting to see if it was 1-1 now and we’re going into overtime, or if that goal stands if we have that breakdown.”
Magnificat tacked on another goal with 1:20 remaining as Jaycie Brown chased down a pass from Natalie Coury on the backside of the penalty box and pushed it past goalkeeper Jordan Reynolds (7 saves), who made three game-saving stabs to keep a clean sheet through the first half.
“The girls have so much to be proud of,” Coreno said. “A lot of people thought Mags was really going to handle us and I thought they had the run of play in the first half, but I thought that we were clearly the better team in the second half.”
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Magnificat 2, Medina 0
Division I Regional Semifinal
MEDINA 0 0 — 0
MAGNIFICAT 0 2 — 2
Ma — Evelyn Lavelle (Alyssa Baumbick), 6:34.
Ma — Jaycie Brown (Natalie Coury), 1:20.
Shots on goal — Medina 4, Magnificat 9. Corner kicks — Medina 0, Magnificat 5. Saves — Jordan Reynolds (Me) 7, Kaleigh Piscioneri (Ma) 4. Records — Medina (13-4-3), Magnificat (15-4-1).