What appeared to be shaping into a bid for a second consecutive Division III girls soccer state championship ended abruptly on Sunday as No. 3 University High was upset by No. 6 E.D. White 3-1 in the quarterfinals of the LHSAA tournament.
“I don’t want to say (this season) was a disappointment, because it’s not like my players didn’t work hard,” U-High coach Melissa Ramsey said. “We wanted a little more, but we gave everything we had. I would have loved for us to have gone further, but it just wasn’t our day. It was definitely E.D. White’s day.”
The Cubs controlled possession early on, but the Cardinals ran a stingy offside trap on defense that rarely let U-High near the goal.
The trap prevented U-High from employing its usual strategy of playing balls over the top of the back line, and by the final whistle, the Cubs were called offside nine times and held to only seven shots.
Senior forward Kirby Miller scored the team’s only goal in the 74th minute, but by then U-High already was down 3-0, and before that point, the Cubs never trailed by more than two scores going back to last season.
E.D. White was able to capitalize on a rare defensive mistake in the 25th minute when a poor clearance by U-High set up Cardinals freshman forward Ann Marie Schwaner for a mid-air volley from 20 yards out.
Schwaner — who sat out the previous two weeks with a concussion — also put the game out of reach for the Cubs in the 72nd minute when she stole the ball from the U-High defense at the edge of the box before firing off her second goal of the day.
E.D. White sophomore Makala Ougel also tagged on a goal in the 52nd minute by taking advantage of the strong cross wind to curve her corner kick into the back post, just out of reach for U-High goalkeeper Elizabeth Bankhead.
The win secures E.D. White’s first ever trip to the semifinal round of the playoffs.
“I knew we had a good team and I knew if we just kept at it, we had a chance to win the ball game,” E.D. White coach Donald Grabert said. “We’re pretty quick … and I just thought our team speed was the difference today.”
The loss is only the fourth disappointment the Cubs have suffered during the two-year run and the three goals scored were the most allowed during that same span.
To make matters worse, U-High’s season comes to an end on its home field, despite entering the game with a 16-1 record going back to last season.
“They just took advantage of their chances,” Ramsey said. “They had very good shots, great shots. They were able to score and unfortunately we just weren’t able to score.”