OLMSTED FALLS — In the end, the skill of North Ridgeville junior Kayla Zingale could not overcome Olmsted Falls’ takedown of the Rangers’ offside trap.
The Bulldogs built a four-goal lead midway through the second half and, despite Zingale’s hat trick, hung on for a 5-3 victory in the opening round of the girls Division I district tournament.
The Rangers also were missing senior co-captain Morgan Wade, who played all season on a torn ACL, scoring 24 goals.
Last week, Wade, a first-team All-West Shore Conference and All-Lorain County pick, opted to have surgery on the knee as the joint became too unstable, North Ridgeville coach Bryan Asp said.
As a result, Asp had to mix and match his lineup — the Rangers started three freshmen and four sophomores — and it showed.
“(Olmsted Falls) had speed up in the corners, got their opportunities and put them away,” North Ridgeville coach Bryan Asp said of his team, which finished 8-7-1.
“We didn’t do what we needed to do — when players aren’t able to play the same position, we never built the relationships we needed to in the lineup.”
The Bulldogs (5-7-5) beat the North Ridgeville trap three times in building a 5-1 lead, the last of which came in the 55th minute, a goal by Laney Haviland on a feed by Alexa Aubel.
But Zingale, who scored on a penalty kick in the 10th minute to even the score at 1-all, scored in the 63rd minute on a superb free kick that curled over a Bulldogs wall and skipped past Bulldogs goalie Madison Woods, and minutes later on a penalty kick that she earned by being tackled in the Olmsted Falls penalty area.
The Rangers, though, got no closer, despite their trap working better in the second half, drawing Olmsted Falls into nine offsides infractions.
“We expected them to play (the offside trap), but maybe not to stick with it once we beat it a couple times,” Olmsted Falls coach John Talley said. “They’re good at it, but our girls played well against it and exploited it.”
The Bulldogs led 4-1 at halftime, as Allie Duber and Mikaela Eissenloffel repeatedly got behind the Rangers back line. In the fourth minute, Duber, who plays on the right wing, had the game’s first chance, but North Ridgeville goalie Samantha Wiles made an excellent save to keep the game scoreless.
Six minutes later, Eissenloffel, again in alone off a pass from Duber, beat Wiles low and left. North Ridgeville countered, though, as Maddy Griffiths’ pressure in the Bulldog penalty area led to Zingale converting a penalty kick.
But the Rangers’ momentum was short-lived. Seven minutes later, Eissenloffel scored again after the Rangers’ attempted clearance bounced off a North Ridgeville player and right back to the penalty spot, where Eissenloffel was waiting.
The Bulldogs tacked on two more, by Madison Horvath in the 26th and Duber in the 35th, for the 4-1 halftime edge.
“I thought we came back and played a very strong game, but we just were in too big a hole,” Asp said.
Olmsted Falls 5, North Ridgeville 3
- GOALS: (NR) Kayla Zingale 3 (10th, 63rd, 65th); (OF) Mikaela Eissenloffel 2 (10th, 17th), Madison Horvath (26th), Allie Duber (35th), Laney Haviland (55th).
- ASSISTS: (OF) Duber 2, Haviland, Alexa Aubel.
- SHOTS: North Ridgeville 13, Olmsted Falls 14.
- SHOTS ON GOAL: North Ridgeville 11, Olmsted Falls 14.
- SAVES: (NR) Samantha Wiles 9; (OF) Madison Woods 8.
- CORNER KICKS: North Ridgeville 2, Olmsted Falls 1.
- GOAL KICKS: North Ridgeville 0, Olmsted Falls 3.
- OFFSIDE: North Ridgeville 5, Olmsted Falls 13.
- FOULS: North Ridgeville 6, Olmsted Falls 10.
- CARDS: (NR) Sumer Cape (yellow, 32nd), bench (55th).
- HALFTIME: Olmsted Falls, 4-1.
Contact Joel Hammond at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.