DAYTON — Trailing the state’s No. 5 ranked team 1-0 with 40 minutes left to play, Eaton girls’ soccer coach Michael Bacher thought his team was in good position to pull off the upset.
But Alter, the No. 1 seed in the Dayton Division II sectional, had other ideas as the Knights kept the pressure up in the second half to hand Eaton a 4-0 defeat in the sectional final on Tuesday, Oct 23, at Oakwood.
“Obviously, we ran into a tough team that’s well coached,” Bacher said. “I thought our girls came out and executed our game plan. We kind of kept everything in front of us. We gave them a lot of opportunities and they finally found the cracks that they needed to and good teams do that.”
Alter netted the first goal on a header from Anna Sweeney off a corner kick with 7:25 to play in the first half.
“We’re one mistake away from tying it up and we got a whole different outcome,” Bacher said.
Eaton had just one shot on goal in the first half as they tried to contain the Knight high-powered offense.
“We knew our opportunities were going to be limited. We came out in a 6-3-1 formation. We bunkered down,” Bacher said. “We gave up a couple of corner kicks and good teams are great on set pieces and they were able to hit a couple.”
Alter made it 2-0 at the 36:06 mark of the second half on penalty kick from Sweeney.
Kali Funk scored off a rebound at the 26:52 mark to make it 3-0.
Julianna Habel scored the final goal with 26:20 left in the contest.
Overall, Bacher was pleased to be playing this deep into the postseason.
“Playing this late in the year and playing at a neutral site that’s huge for this program,” he said. “It just gives up something to look forward to. I’m excited. I know it’s tough being excited when you see the scoreboard at 4-0, but I’m excited.”
Eaton (7-8-3), which was 2-6-2 at one point during the season, was playing in its first sectional final under Bacher, who is in his fifth season as head coach.
“I’m very pleased with the girls. I thought midway through the season we kind of flipped a switch and we only gave up one or two goals the remaining seven games. Everything’s coming around,” he said. “We’re right where we’re hoping to be. I thought we took a big step forward this year. I want the girls walking on the field expecting to win a soccer game. Monroe, Bellbrook, the name beats us not the team.”
Eaton will lose five seniors (Tyler Pittman, Emily Dungan, Ashlynn Black, Anna Black and Ashlyn McKee) who have helped turn the program around.
“Obviously, we’ve got a good group of seniors that I’m greatly going to miss. Each one of them contributed. I appreciate everything they’ve done for our soccer team,” Bacher said.
He added the future is bright with the returning players, most of which are sophomores and freshman.
“We’ve got some freshman that are going to fill some big shoes and I look forward to that,” he said. “I was very pleased with they way the season went.”
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH