MARIEMONT — As Troy Christian boys soccer coach Ryan Zeman looked out on the field Wednesday night after the Eagles’ 2-1 loss to Mariemont in the Division III regional semifinals ended the season — and an amazing run for his seniors — he knew couldn’t have asked anymore of his team.
“They left it all on the field,” Zeman said after the Eagles pushed unbeaten Mariemont to the limit, playing the top-ranked team in the state on its own field.
Mariemont improved to 20-0 with the win, while Troy Christian closed at 15-3-2.
“They have been the top ranked team in the state all year,” Zeman said. “They are the favorites to win the state title.”
After the game went almost 30 minutes without scoring, all three goals in the game were scored in the final 10:54 of the opening half.
It started with a seemingly harmless kick by Mariemont’s Luke Brothers.
But the wet ball squired out of the grasp of the Troy Christian goalie, and Kyle Crollwas able to the put the ball in the net to get Mariemont on the board.
However, it would take the Eagles only 34 seconds to answer the goal.
Chas Schemmel took a perfect throw-in from Ty Davis and headed it into the goal at the 10:20 mark, and the game was tied 1-1.
“We were able to answer right away,” Zeman said. “Ty (Davis) had the throw-in and Chas (Schemmel) finished it with the header.”
It looked like the game would go to the locker room tied, but the Warriors broke through with less than three minutes remaining in the half as Boden Gall took a cross from Brothers and found the back of the net with 2:43 remaining in the half to put Mariemont back in front.
“They were able to get that goal late in first half when they were able to redirect the cross,” Zeman said.
To the Eagles’ credit, goalie Tanner Conklin and the Troy Christian defense blanked Mariemont in the second half. They just couldn’t get the tying goal.
Their best chance came with 3:30 remaining on a free kick, but Mariemont was able to block Josh Brubaker’s attempt.
“We knew what we had to do,” Zeman said. “We were pushing forward and everything. We just couldn’t get it (the tying goal). Give Mariemont credit. They played a great game.”
Troy Christian seniors Schemmel, Garrison Spatz, Davis, Nelson Lair and Sam Mathews played their final game.
“We won four district titles in five years,” Zeman said. “These seniors won three of those in the their four years. They are probably the best senior class I have coached.”
And they went out like champions — leaving everything they had on the field.