AKRON: The sport and the field matter little.
One thing is certain when teams from Archbishop Hoban and St. Vincent-St. Mary play:
Neither team will give an inch. Neither team will raise the white flag.
Games will not be given away, they must be won.
That held true on a brutally cold night at Hoban’s Dowed Field on Thursday when the Hoban girls soccer team got an early goal and went on to defeat the Irish 2-0 in a Division II district championship game.
Hoban’s magical season, validated by a 19-game unbeaten streak, will continue in next week’s regionals when the Knights play the winner of today’s game between Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown, a team with which it is not familiar, and Mentor Lake Catholic, a team from the North Coast League.
Hathaway Brown and Lake Catholic were snowed out Thursday at Hawken School. That district title match will be played at 4 p.m. today at Cleveland State.
Senior captain Katie Easton scored with barely three minutes elapsed and freshman Olivia Petit added another goal with 2:18 remaining in the first half as the Lady Knights improved to 17-0-2.
Easton’s goal, off an assist from senior Brooke Simmons, was enough for goalkeeper Maddie Diestel.
“When you score early like that there is a big sigh of relief,” said Diestel, who continues to play despite suffering a torn ligament in her right knee that she suffered about two weeks ago. “But, it doesn’t change your mental approach. You have to stay tough, never give up.”
The statistics reflected how tight the game was. Hoban had eight shots on goal to SVSM’s seven. Both Diestel and SVSM’s Leah Rauscher made five saves.
“I think it’s important in any playoff game to get the lead,” said Hoban coach Patrick Dobbins. “We were able to get it and calm down with the ball. Then we got that second goal and that helped because Saint V came out with a lot of energy in the second half and put a lot of pressure on us.”
Once the Knights got the second goal there was no letup.
“I thought once we got that two-goal lead they (SVSM) might come out a little sluggish but they didn’t,” said Dobbins. “They played great, they left their heart out there.
“They kept us on our toes the entire second half.”
Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps.