SIDNEY – Hamilton Badin defeated West Liberty-Salem, 1-0, in a Division III girls soccer district final on Thursday.
“I was hoping for the first 20 (minutes) we could stay with them – that was our goal,” WL-S Coach Andy Cotrell said. “And we did exactly what I hoped we would do.”
The Tigers had the advantage of a tailwind in the second half, but were unable to capitalize.
“We knew our chances would be few and far between,” Cotrell said. “But in soccer, if you capitalize on one, that’s a big thing. We tried to open it up and that’s all we could do.”
Badin put a goal away in the 44th minute of play on a shot that WL-S keeper Paige Shafer appeared not to see.
“I don’t think Paige saw it at all,” Cotrell said. “She didn’t react. I think she was right behind the defender and didn’t see it at all. She got a free shot and she put it away.”
Other than that defensive miscue, the Tigers did a good job of keeping the Rams at bay and Shafer played a terrific game between the posts.
“For a freshman, being her first year ever playing keeper, you can see how athletic she is,” Cotrell said. “She’s very, very coachable and just a great kid and does what the team needs her to do.”
Late in the match, Cotrell tried throwing different looks at the Rams, hoping to break away on a run that might tie the match. The aggressiveness paid dividends with some chances, including a corner kick in the final 15 seconds, but WL-S wasn’t able to find the back of the net.
The Tigers finish the season at 17-2 overall.
“It’s crazy. You win an OHC championship, you lose two games during the season, you get to the district finals,” Cotrell reflected. “What else could you ask for with a small program like ours?”
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.