Boys soccer: St. Marys falls in Division II regional finals

BOWLING GREEN — The St. Marys Roughriders were on a journey this season that was the best campaign in the history of the school.

Nineteen wins had never been achieved until this year. Yet, win number 20 never materialized because of a 3-1 loss to the Revere Minutemen in a Saturday night Division II regional final at Bowling Green High School.

Throughout the season, the Roughriders demonstrated a level of brilliance that the school had not previously experienced. The regional final started by sparing over control of the midfield. The match was intense. The Roughriders and the Minutemen had an impenetrable defense at the beginning of the match. At the 28:58 mark in the game, the first goal of the match was finally scored by Revere’s Zac Iler. Revere’s second goal was scored at the 16:50 mark by A.J. Catlett.

The Roughriders could have folded, but they answered with a goal at the 13:51 mark in the first half by Cody Birt. The halftime score ended up 2-1. In the first half, Revere out-shot the Roughriders 6 to 2. The Minutemen also held the margin in corner kicks, 4-2. Fouls were even at 5 a piece.

In the second half, Revere “parked the bus.” At times there were nine defenders within 20 yards of the goal, making it extremely difficult for the Roughriders offense to knot the score. The offensive pace slowed. In the second half, there were only four shots by both teams with St. Marys having one.

The Revere Minutemen finally eked out a goal on a counterattack with 2:46 left in the match when Dylan Halm shot one past the goalie to make the final score 3-1.

Roughrider keeper Cayden Ballweg had a total of 6 saves while his counterpart Jake Nations had two.

St, Marys head coach James Holtzapple summarized the season, “League title, district title, 19-3-1. I certainly won’t shake my head at that. They ought to be walking around with their chests pumped a little bit. That’s pretty doggone impressive.”

Their legacy as the team that had one of the best seasons in school history but lost in the regional finals will serve as a motivation for the returning players. Coach Holtzapple told his players, “Don’t be more sad that it ended, than you are happy that it happened.”