Riders Take Down Shawnee

St. Marys students reach their hands out for high fives from members of the St. Marys girls soccer team after the Roughriders defeated No. 4 state-ranked Shawnee 2-1 in a Western Buckeye League match on Thursday at Roughrider Field.
By: 
JAKE DOWLING
Sports Editor

Not having faced a bigger game in years, St. Marys was up for the moment.

“Yes it was and it was team effort all the way around,” Roughriders coach Nick Wilson said after the game.

A goal by freshman Kendall Dieringer to tie a Western Buckeye League showdown with No. 4 ranked Shawnee to 1-1, was finished off by junior Emma Wibbeler’s mortar shot over the head of keeper Grace O’Connor for the what would be the game-winner with 7:36 left for a 2-1 win.

The win now puts St. Marys one game away from winning a WBL championship since the 2010 season.

The Roughriders (8-4-1, 6-1-1 WBL) started the game down to the Indians (12-2-1, 6-1-1) when Tessa Jordan found the back of the net in another slow start for St. Marys.

The Roughriders threatened on offense on a few occasions, but they happened to connect on their first shot on goal of the contest when Lilly Ankerman fed the ball from the outside to Dieringer, who popped the ball over O’Connor’s head, grazing her gloves and into the back of the goal to tie the game.

While the Riders’ defense tried to maintain the tied score, keeper Emma White backed them up with six first-half saves and nine more in the second half against a team that has tallied 47 goals on the year.

And for that same team, the Indians only allowed five goals after Dieringer’s shot and Wibbeler made it No. 6.

The junior launched her shot around the top of the 18-yard box with a long, high kick that forced O’Connor to jump up just to reach it, but like Dieringer’s shot before, O’Connor could not stop the ball from sneaking into the net for the go-ahead score.

From Aug. 18 to Sept. 27, Shawnee surrendered just one goal all season, but after Thursday’s game, the Indians have allowed five goals and have a 0-1-2 record in a three-game period.

Those struggles opened the door for the Roughriders’ WBL title aspirations. 

After a Sept. 18 loss to Elida, the Roughriders had a long climb ahead of them with five WBL games left to go.

But St. Marys rallied off wins against Bath (7-4-2, 4-2-2) and handled Celina (7-3-3, 3-2-3) before beating Defiance (3-9, 0-8) on Tuesday, and with Shawnee losing to Bath — who was without its stop scorer in Chandler Clark — the Roughriders now have a date with Wapakoneta (8-4-2, 5-2-1) on Tuesday for the league crown. The Roughriders have lost their last two games to the Redskins.

During that stretch, the Roughriders have outscored its WBL counterparts, 14-3.