Jonathan Alder’s Ava Ater (24) covers an opposing Lady Bulldog in the Lady Pioneers’ portion of the field. The Lady Pioneers lost Monday evening’s match, 2-1, against Bloom-Carroll. (Journal-Tribune photo by Aleksei Pavloff)
Jonathan Alder’s varsity girls’ soccer team lost on the road against Mid-State League’s Bloom-Carroll in a non-league match Monday evening.
The Lady Bulldogs won the contest, 2-1.
The Jonathan Alder boys edged Buckeye Valley, 1-0.
The pressure was on for the visiting Lady Pioneers with Bloom-Carroll spending most of its offensive play on Alder’s side of the pitch.
From the beginning, the Lady Bulldogs made their presence felt, bumping into an opposing Lady Pioneer whenever one of them had the ball.
Throughout the entirety of the first half, JA keeper Sophie Schaefer had a plethora of saves, which kept the team in the match.
“She had the best night of the season so far,” JA head coach Nate Byrum said.
The closest opportunity JA had to scoring in the first half came in the form of a penalty kick try from Alex Shaw.
Unfortunately for JA, the attempt was just inches away from tying the game.
The Lady Pioneers did, however, turn it around in the latter half the first spending period.
They spent more time chipping away at Bloom-Carroll’s defense.
While the offensive unit improved, the Lady Bulldogs stayed consistent, making sure to limit the number of shots on goal from Lady Pioneers.
JA trailed 1-0 at the break.
As the evening darkened and turned brisker, so did the Bloom-Carroll’s play on the field.
JA made strides to match the Bulldogs’ energy, but fell short in some instances.
Bloom-Carroll showed more speed in tracking down the ball while on defense.
“We knew they were going to come out and hit us hard,” Byrum said.
Bloom-Carroll increased its lead at the 13:02 mark of the stanza.
The Bulldogs hit a goal from medium range, making the final minutes crucial for the Lady Pioneers.
Picking the intensity on both defense and offense, the Lady Bulldogs kept connecting physically with JA players.
That drew a yellow card against a Lady Bulldog in the final eight minutes of the match.
Back in Lady Bulldog territory, JA’s Katie Hooley had her chance on a penalty kick with just a few minutes left to play.
Taking a nice arc over three Lady Bulldogs, Hooley scored her team’s first goal with the potential of forcing a tie as 2:34 remained on the clock.
With newly-found life, there was too little time was left for JA as the Lady Bulldogs claimed the win.
As the final minute ticked down, a probable comeback or tie escaped the Lady Pioneers.
“I thought we played very well… we battled the whole way,” Byrum said. “There were a couple questionable calls — it could’ve been a tie.”
The next game for the Lady Pioneers (5-8 overall, 3-4 in Central Buckeye Conference) is Thursday at Tecumseh (4-6 overall, 2-4 in CBC) starting at 5:30 p.m.
On a separate field, JA’s boys’ varsity team took on the Buckeye Valley Barons in what turned out to be another low scoring affair.
The only goal scored was credited to JA sophomore Connor Boggs.
On the defensive end of the field, JA senior Dom Dellapina recorded eight total saves.
The Pioneers (5-7-1 overall, 3-3-1 in CBC) are scheduled to face off against Tecumseh (5-4-1 overall, 5-1 in CBC) on the road this Thursday starting at 7:15 p.m. after the girls’ match.