By Chris Chaney
As the girls’ sectional tournament wore on, the crème of the crop rose to the top, showcasing both the New Richmond Lady Lions and Clermont Northeastern Lady Rockets making their way into their respective sectional finals.
In Division II, New Richmond came into the postseason tournament with an 8-5-3 record, going 4-3-3 in the Southern Buckeye Conference.
The Lady Lions earned themselves a No. 10 seed and a first round bye and matchup with the Finneytown Lady Wildcats.
“Finneytown was a good game,” New Richmond head coach Chris Malotke said. “We scored in the first minute-and-a-half on a corner kick.
“We outshot them 10-5 in the first half and then in the second half it seemed like we put it into second gear and took control.”
Again outshooting their opponents, this time by a margin of 10-1, the Lady Lions were able to advance with a 3-1 victory, although the game wasn’t as close as the score would indicate.
Coming off of a solid performance in their only postseason game of the year, the Lady Lions faced the daunting task of trying to take down top-seeded McNicholas in the Division II Cincinnati 3 sectional final.
The Lady Rockets came into the contest red-hot having won their last four games straight and nine of their last 12. At 11-3-3, Malotke and the Lady Lions knew they would have their hands full.
“Obviously, being the No. 1 team in the city and the sectional, McNick is an extremely talented team,” the coach said. “I think we need to play focused and we can hang with anybody.”
Unfortunately for New Richmond, the Lady Rockets proved to be too much, defeating the Lady Lions 4-0.
New Richmond fans can take some comfort in the loss as a result of the fact that the Lady Rockets are still alive in the tournament at the time of print, playing in the state semifinals against Bellbrook on Tuesday, Oct. 30.
Transitioning from the McNicholas Lady Rockets to the Clermont Northeastern Lady Rockets, CNE built their foundation to what would become a sectional finals squad during a regular season that saw the team go 10-5-1 overall and 7-2-1 in the Southern Buckeye Conference National Division.
By virtue of their respectable regular season play, the Lady Rockets were given a No. 6 seed in the Division III Cincinnati 3 sectional final and a first-round bye.
The Lady Rockets drew Fayetteville for their second-round matchup, a No. 10 seed and a team that finished the regular season 6-5-4.
Coming out of the Southern Hills League, Fayetteville had a strong team that would push CNE to the limit.
Knotted at 1-1 at the end of regulation, it took the Lady Rockets an overtime to get the winning goal to advance to the sectional final, 2-1.
Things wouldn’t get any easier for the Lady Rockets, however, as they moved on to face the top-seed in their sectional, Summit Country Day,
The Silver Knights were Miami Valley Conference champs in the regular season and ended the season 15-1-2.
After defeating Georgetown 10-0 in their first-round game and Deer Park 7-0 in their second round game, Summit was coming in with a potent offensive attack.
While the Lady Rockets were able to slow that attack comparatively speaking, they were not able to generate any offense of their own, falling 5-0 to the Silver Knights.
Similarly to the Lady Lions’ fate, the Lady Rockets can take solace in the fact that they not only lost to one of the best teams in the city, but also in the entire state.
Summit played Mariemont on Tuesday, Oct. 30 in the state semifinals.
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