BY YANEEK SMITH, BEACON CONTRIBUTOR
HURON — From the outset, it was clear Rocky River was the better team.
The Pirates (18-2) scored less than 12 minutes into the first half when Sophia Sindelar converted at 28:31 of the first half, and Rocky River defeated Oak Harbor, 6-0, in a Division II girls regional semifinal.
A little over six minutes later, at 22:08, Ava Patti scored to push the lead to 2-0. Sindelar scored at 19:43 and Cara McKenna pushed the lead to 4-0 at 8:48.
Despite the fact that Rocky River scored six goals, Rocket goalkeeper Ripley St. Clair stopped a number of shots and overall, had a good game in her final match for Oak Harbor.
“They are fast, quick, and everything off their foot is right,” said Oak Harbor coach Renee Williamson. “We anticipated it, but maybe not to that extent.
“Somebody told me that there are so many good teams that never make it to districts or regionals.”
It was the final match for 11 Rocket (14-4-3) seniors, including St. Clair, Hannah Schulte, Remi Gregory, Emma Baumgartner, Katie May, Kori Helle, Amelia Mizelle, Kaley Daniel, Maggie Puckett, Ally Garner and Cienna Heineman.
St. Clair graduates as one of the best goalkeepers in school history, and Schulte finishes her career with 103 career goals, second in program history. The farthest Oak Harbor ever made it with this group came two years ago when the Rockets advanced to the regional finals.
“These seniors won two district titles and three Sandusky Bay Conference Bay Division championships. They came in as a big group and it’s been fun to watch them play and grow,” said Williamson. “They’ve been with us since they were freshmen, most of them. I’m proud of them, they played their hearts out.”