Bulldogs Lose a Tough One to Ursuline
September 13, 2012St. Ursula Academy
by Kevin Goheen, Cincinnati Enquirer
Ursuline Ends 5 Year Drought Against the Bulldogs
Ursuline sophomores Sara Robertson and Jordan Hollmeyer scored goals less than two-and-a-half minutes apart in the first half and junior goalie Anna Speyer made them stand as the Lions beat St. Ursula for the first time since 2007, 2-0, Wednesday night at Blue Ash Sports Complex.
Speyer made 12 saves to notch the fourth shutout in six games for the Lions defense. Ursuline has allowed just two goals in starting undefeated (5-0-1) through its first six games.
The Lions are ranked No. 2 in The Enquirer’s Division I coaches’ poll and No. 10 in the state poll. St. Ursula, ranked No. 3 locally, falls to 3-4-1.
Speyer was the varsity backup last season. She and her backline defense of sophomores Hollmeyer and Emma Niehaus, junior Allison Werner and senior Sarah Byrne have found a comfort zone quickly.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in the defense and the whole team,” said Speyer. “I was really prepared for this game. I was really pumped and had a good warm-up so I felt really good about the game.”
Robertson, a striker, put Ursuline in front with a shot off a quick turn that beat St. Ursula freshman goalie Olivia Silverman with 20:34 left in the first half. It was Robertson’s second goal of the season.
Hoffmeyer scored her first goal of the season with 18:16 left in the half following a scramble off a corner kick.
St. Ursula held much of the possession and had numerous chances in the second half, but Speyer kept every shot from the Bulldogs out of the net.
“Her confidence is growing and each game she comes up with bigger and better saves,” said Ursuline coach Colleen Dehring. “Once you realize you can do it then you start playing like you can do it and practicing like you can do it.”
St. Ursula had been 3-0-2 against Ursuline since a regular-season loss to the Lions in 2007.
First-year coach Becky Evans has had to integrate a new coaching staff with a group of players that doesn’t have as much varsity experience as previous St. Ursula teams have possessed.
The Bulldogs have had to get that experience the hard way. All of the teams on St. Ursula’s schedule are ranked in their respective state polls. Its losses have come against three teams (Mason, Dublin Coffman, Ursuline) ranked in the top 10 of the Ohio Division I coaches’ poll and the top-ranked team in Indiana’s Class 2A, Carmel.
“We had some good combination plays but it’s the finishing that’s lacking,” said Evans. “It’s coming. If this team scores first, I think we’re dangerous. Right now is finding that goal and building that confidence.”