South Range clobbers Garfield in semi
BEAVER TOWNSHIP — The beat continues for the South Range girls soccer team.
The second-seeded Raiders rolled past eighth-seeded Garfield 6-0 in a Division III district semifinal Monday at Raiders Field. South Range senior Bree Kohler supplied two goals and an assist, while sophomore Gabby Lamparty netted a pair of goals.
Next up, South Range plays host to fifth-seeded Champion in a district final on Thursday. The Golden Flashes downed fourth-seeded Ursuline 1-0 on Monday.
“The games are going to get much tougher from here,” South Range coach Kelsey Malenic. “The good news is we’re playing pretty well right now and we’re just clicking.”
The Raiders improved to 13-4-1.
They opened the season 2-3, but have gone 11-1-1 since Sept. 14. Their losses and the tie came against Division II competition. South Range lost twice to Lakeview and once apiece to Niles and Akron Hoban. The tie was against Poland.
“We’re very young and we’ve learned throughout the season and really matured,” Malenic said. “What I love about this group is that I have girls playing two and three different positions a game. They’ve adjusted and learned and that helps us develop depth and diversity. We don’t have one girl in the same position just standing there. I move people around and we adjust as we need to.”
Kohler began and closed the game’s scoring. She scored just 3:08 into the contest as the Raiders had Garfield on its heels from the start, getting five shots off in first 5:30 — including a blast from Lamparty that caromed off the post.
“Gabby is an elite player, one of the top players in the area for sure,” Malenic said. “Anywhere I put her, she plays hard and knows exactly what she’s doing and the girls feed off her. She’s the glue to our team. If she’s playing well, we’re playing well as a team and everyone’s getting involved.
“But we definitely are getting contributions from a lot of different girls. It hasn’t been one person. In addition to Gabby and Bree, we’ve got some freshmen — Sydney Penick and Devin Sauerwein — doing well, and that’s exciting. They work hard and they go in and get their job done.”
The G-Men had trouble clearing in their rocky start and rarely maintained possession on the South Range end.
However, Garfield figured it out and actually had the better of play for about a 12-minute surge. The G-Men had four shots in that time frame, one of which went over the crossbar.
“We had some opportunities for a nice portion of the first half,” said Garfield coach Aaron Gilbert. “We kept the ball at their end, but that ended when they scored on their first time they got it back on our end. Still, I was thinking 2-0 or 2-1 at half would be great. But then the one that really killed us was late in the half when we went down 3-0. That changed everything.
“They had a speed advantage on us, but once we got adjusted after that opening stretch, we played pretty well. (South Range is) so good and it really hurt us on that third goal.”
After Garfield’s surge, Lamparty scored the game’s second goal at 18:08 and Hannah Ritchie got the third when she ran through a trickling ball all the way to the back of the nets with 4:50 left before intermission.
The light mist that began midway through the first half of a raw night, got a little heavier in the second half and began to swirl around.
It made the game that much more miserable in the second half for the G-Men, who finished 12-6-1.
Sauerwein scored off a feed from Kohler with 32:28 remaining and Lamparty made it 5-0 when she was on the back end of Mallory Vidman’s corner kick with 30:21 left. Kohler finalized the scoring with 13:37 remaining.
“We had a core group of seven seniors that helped us get to this point for the second year in a row,” Gilbert said. “It’s a shame that it ended this way, but we’re happy with the season we had. We got things going in the right direction and had won seven of our last nine coming into this one.”