Indian Hill sisters Ellie and Anna Podojil each scored in the first six minutes to put Big Walnut in a hole early.
The Golden Eagles couldn’t recover and fell 4-0 in the Division II girls soccer state semifinal Tuesday night (Nov. 7) at Fairmont Park Stadium in Kettering.
“That’s a very good team,” BW coach Drew Pitzer said. “They’re fast, they’re quick, they’re big and they’re strong. We got out of position a couple of times and they made us pay for it.”
After a 39-minute delay because of a sinkhole, Ellie Podojil found the back of the net just 40 seconds into the game to give Indian Hill (21-0-1), ranked No. 1 in the state in the last OSSCA coaches’ poll of the season, an early edge.
Anna Podojil broke away from the defense and slid a ball right of BW goalkeeper Payton Carter to make it 2-0 with 34:11 left in the half.
“After we played for a while, we settled down and we started to play with them,” Pitzer said.
Morgan Jackson pushed the lead to 3-0 with 5:28 left before the break. Jackson broke away for her second of the night with 1:38 left to cap the scoring.
It was a jarring start for the BW (16-3-4) defense, which has 16 shutouts and has given up just four goals over its last 18 games.
But, getting to the state semifinal for the first time in school history was an unforgettable experience for Pitzer and the Golden Eagles.
“The experience these girls just got … the run they went on is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Pitzer said. “It’s special and it’s a special group of kids. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Indian Hill plays Mentor Lake Catholic for the state championship at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus at a time to be announced.
Loveland 2, Olentangy Liberty 1
Laura Bichsel collected a rebound and punched it into the back of the net to give the Patriots a 1-0 lead with less than 20 minutes to go, but the Tigers scored off a corner with under four in regulation and again with 1:17 left in sudden-death overtime to win a Division I state semifinal Tuesday night at Centerville Alumni Stadium.
Bichsel’s goal was just the fourth Loveland allowed all season.
The Tigers didn’t panic, though.
After Liberty keeper Riley Cartwright made a handful of key saves to keep the 1-0 cushion in tact, Brice Grieshop scored the equalizer off a corner. The Tigers kept the pressure on in the extra session, too, finally breaking through when Colleen Swift found the back of the net to put an abrupt end to Liberty’s stellar season.
Gazette Sports Editor Ben Stroup contributed to this report.