CENTERVILLE — Carroll High School girls soccer coach Sarah Flach used two profound words to describe Monday’s girls soccer tournament game against Springboro.
“Favorable bounces,” Flach said.
A deflected ball off a Springboro defender led to one goal and another started a run that led to an insurance goal as the Patriots topped the Panthers, 2-0, at Centerville’s Alumni Stadium. The win advances Carroll (17-1-1) to Thursday’s district final at 7 p.m. at Lakota East against the Lakota West, a 3-0 winner over Ursuline.
The win also brings closure of sorts, as the teams tied 2-2 earlier this season.
“It feels good,” said Flach, who was on the Carroll team that made it to a D-I regional final in 1997. “To play any team twice is just rough. We knew they were going to come out tough, come out fast. We knew we were going to have to play one of our best games.”
And get a few bounces.
The first came early in the second half as a Springboro player tried to clear the ball inside the box. Senior tri-captain Jill Roberts pressured the play and deflected the ball. She raced to the loose ball and had an easy left-to-right shot into an open goal as the ‘Boro keeper had came out too far to defend.
“I’m always thinking foot up,” Roberts said. “I put my foot up (to deflect the ball). I saw the goal and my eyes got big and I passed it in.”
With nine minutes left, another good bounce allowed senior tri-captain Alaina Casey to feed sophomore Sarah Ochs, who was bolting down the side. Casey passed to her left and Ochs was unmarked and scored her first goal this season.
Normally a defender, Flach moved Ochs to the front in an attempt to keep the pressure on Springboro (10-4-4) and create scoring chances.
“It feels great,” said Ochs, who is also a member of Carroll’s cross country team that qualified for this weekend’s regional meet. “Coach told me to go up to the striker position. In my head I was like ‘I’m gonna give her everything I had.’ ”
Carroll’s defense remained stingy in posting its second tournament shutout and ninth overall, four out of the last six games.
“Entire picture today was great,” Flach said.
She added that Carroll’s 17 wins may be a school record for most victories.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.