BY J. PATRICK EAKEN | MIRROR SPORTS — Nine players scored when the Anthony Wayne girls soccer team clinched a Northern Lakes League title last week and stayed unbeaten and untied with a 9-0 trouncing of Napoleon.
“It’s super big for us to win the NLL,” said AW senior Emilie Gardner.
Classmate Hannah Rybicki did have a hat trick, but of a different kind – she had three assists, not three goals, including one that led to a score by senior goalkeeper Keaton Grabarczyk, who was playing in the field.
To win the championship, the Generals had to play through a windy rainstorm at Fallen Timbers Field, but they were in good spirits after the rout was over.
It was Senior Night, after all, making it a special night for the 11 seniors.
“They are such a great group,” said AW coach Lori Williams. “Most of them have been playing for two or three years on varsity, so I’m really happy to celebrate them.
“The weather wasn’t ideal, but we made the best of it. It was a special night for those kids.”
The Generals, who are ranked second in the Division I state coaches poll behind defending state champion Beavercreek, are now 15-0 overall and 6-0 in the NLL.
They have outscored league opponents by a combined 34-3. AW has posted eight shutouts this season and only allowed one team, Southview, to score more than one goal.
In the win on October 2, Napoleon not only did not get a shot on goal, they did not even get a shot that appeared to be heading toward the goal.
Meanwhile, AW had 32 shots on goal and many more, 52 to be exact, counting the shots that went wide or high.
Grabarczyk and sophomore Caitlin Mohler were in goal for the Generals, but not only did they not have to face a shot, they didn’t have to send out a single goal kick or punt.
The other stat that points to a rout: AW had 22 corner kicks to Napoleon’s zero. Needless to say, there was a running clock in the second half, much to the approval of fans watching in the rain.
Anthony Wayne senior Madison Theis got the scoring started on an assist from Rybicki 6:53 after the opening kickoff.
Rybicki got her second assist on AW’s second goal, sending a pass to senior Sam Schofield, who scored with 20:24 remaining.
Sophomore Alaina Un-capher dribbled from midfield and scored on a 40-foot shot with 2:10 to go in the first half to put the Generals up 3-0. They would add six more goals in the second half.
AW sophomore Brynn Gardner scored on an assist from senior Shelby Herring-ton with 26:22 left in the game to start the second-half scoring.
Less than four minutes later, a cross from senior Emilie Gardner found senior Lila Common, who scored AW’s fifth goal.
Sophomore Kate Kemmer nailed a shot that deflected off Napoleon goalkeeper Grace Hopkins’ hands and into the net for the Generals’ sixth goal. Sophomore Payton Miller got the assist.
A long lead pass from Uncapher was sent to senior Jocelyn Crosley, who scored the seventh goal on a 20-foot shot with 13:45 left.
Grabarczyk got her first goal of the season, playing forward, on an assist from Rybicki with 6:20 to go.
Rybicki had a shot from close range, which Hopkins defended well, but Grabarczyk found the rebound and sent it into the net.
Herrington got AW’s final goal on an assist from sophomore Amelia Womack with 4:10 remaining in the game.
After closing out the regular season at Bowling Green on Wednesday, the Generals will open Division I tournament play on Wednesday, October 16, when they host the winner of Wapakoneta (6-7-1) and Lima Senior (1-12-2)