WEST CARROLLTON — One of the best seasons in Preble Shawnee girls’ soccer history came to an end in the Division III district final Saturday night, Oct. 29.
On a night when they needed to play nearly perfectly, the Arrows came up just short.
No. 5-ranked and defending state champion Cincinnati Summit Country Day scored two second half goals to dash the Arrows’ hopes for the program’s first-ever district championship, with a 2-0 win.
Shawnee (14-3-2) was playing in just its second-ever district final.
“The girls played hard. I told them afterward to keep their heads up,” Shawnee coach Kevin Schaeffer said. “There’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
The Silver Knights put pressure on Shawnee from the opening moments of the contest and never let up. But Shawnee remained in the match until the final seconds.
Summit finished the contest with 17 shots, nine on goal.
Summit broke a scoreless tie with 27:57 left in the second half on a goal by Coleen McIlvenna.
Schaffer questioned the officials as to whether McIlvenna was offsides on the play, to no avail.
“I thought she was way offside. I thought our positioning back there (defense) wasn’t the greatest,” he said.
McIlvenna added a second goal with 10:34 left to all but seal the win.
“They had the throw-in and we kind of over-pursued and she hit it to the back post. It was good hit,” Schaeffer said. “There wasn’t anything wrong with what we did defensively. If the team puts enough pressure on you, they’re bound to get a break or two. I’m not blaming the game on an offsides call. It certainly changes the way we have to play.”
The Arrows, though, had multiple chances in the second half but were unable to find the back of the net.
“We had a couple of chances to even it up,” Schaeffer said. “Their keeper made two ridiculously good saves.”
Shawnee entered the district match having won seven of its last eight contests, including seven shutouts. The other contest was a tie.
The Arrows’ only three losses came to two teams ranked in the Top 10 in the state (Waynesville (twice) and Summit.)
“It was a great season. You lose three games and you tie the second ranked team in the state,” Schaeffer said. “We kind of got half of two goals we had set. In retrospect, that’s not bad at all. We did us proud.”
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.