Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

Celina, Elida play to tie

By Gary R. Rasberry
Photo by Mark Pummell/The Daily Standard

Celina's Carley Eichler passes the ball forward during Tuesday's game with Elida at the soccer stadium in Celina.

CELINA - Celina had strong defense, solid midfield play and was consistently on the attack against Elida.
All that was missing was a win.
Celina scored with just under 30 minutes left to play in the match, but Elida leveled the score eight minutes later to finish in a 1-1 draw in Western Buckeye League girls' soccer action on Tuesday night at the soccer stadium.
Elida entered the contest with a 3-0 record and had won its WBL opener. If not for the play of Elida keeper Erika Suever, the team would have left Mercer County with a loss.
Celina outshot Elida 13-4 on the match. Suever made saves on 11 shots and a 12th was just over the crossbar.
Celina's came with 30:19 left in the match when Elida was called for a penalty inside the box. Mya Lockwood stepped up to take the penalty kick and put it to the right of Suever, who knocked it out of the way but still in play. Then Carley Eichler charged in and snuck a shot past Suever.
"She's one of the better keepers around," Celina coach Eric Gerker said of Suever. "We knew if we were going get it by her, we would have to make the extra pass, make that extra run, work together and set ourselves off the ball.
"Our midfield played great, probably our best midfield game of the year to date as far as possession. We have some things to work on but definitely a positive. Our forwards played well."
Celina's defense made it difficult for the Elida attack to get any solid looks at goal. Celina keeper Kennedy Henry only needed to make one save on the night.
"Elida is a strong offensive team," Gerker said. "We knew we would have play solid defense to stay in the match. We challenged our defenders and they responded. Mya Rolfes, Mya Lockwood, Emily Keith, Carley Eichler and Nicole Fennig in the back and Kennedy in goal. They all did a great job back there containing Jency Jenkins."
Jenkins, a first-team All-WBL player last season, was able to break free one time and scored the tying goal with 22:09 to go.
Both teams tried to get the go-ahead goal. Celina had its best chance with under 30 seconds left when Zoey Burns was open inside, but her kick to the opposite side went just past the goal and out of harm's way.
"We lost focus a little bit and they tied the game on us, but we battled all night long," Gerker said. "I'm proud of the girls' efforts."
The Celina junior varsity won its match by a 7-1 margin.
Celina (2-1-1, 0-1-1 WBL) returns to action Saturday, hosting Toledo Central Catholic. The match will be a varsity-only contest starting at 5 p.m.
Photo by Mark Pummell/The Daily Standard

Celina's Reilly Cox, 14, battles for control with Elida's Bella Wallace on Tuesday at the soccer stadium.

Photo by Mark Pummell/The Daily Standard

Celina's Makenna Klingshirn makes a move on Tuesday.

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Local Roundup
Compiled by Colin Foster and Gary R. Rasberry
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