Both Lakota West and Ursuline had reasons to win Tuesday, but neither team could find a way to get it past the other’s goalkeeper in what ended in a 0-0 tie at Steve Cummins Soccer Park in West Chester Township.
For the Firebirds, they wanted to rebound from a 1-2 start to the season, but more importantly the team wanted to get their head coach, Tara Schafer-Kalkhoff, her 200th win as a varsity soccer coach in the school district.
“(A win) changes the whole week if we can get her 200th win,” said junior Lauren Heger, who recently committed to play soccer at the University of Cincinnati. “We then would be 2-2 with a full week of practice before our next game.”
With the tie, Lakota West is now 1-2-1 on the year, while Urusline has its record go to 2-0-1.
Lakota West was the first team to nearly break the tie midway through the first half when senior and Xavier recruit Maggie Hare booted a shot more than 20 yards that went above the outstretched hands of Ursuline junior goalkeeper Anna Speyer.
The shot, however, hit the top of goal post, went straight down and was picked up Speyer just after the ball landed about an inch away being a goal.
“I thought I had the goal,” Hare said after the game. “I thought it went inside the line, but I guess the ref didn’t call it.”
Then, midway through the second half, the Firebirds had another opportunity for the upset when Hare’s cross kick set up a header by Heger, which was quickly punched away by the Lions’ diving goalkeeper.
“After the game I told Anna it was her best game so far,” Ursuline head coach Colleen Dehring said. “I just had a feeling by the way she warmed up that she had something in her tonight. I don’t know if she had the ‘it’ factor or what, but she definitely stepped up.”
In total, Speyer needed seven saves to secure her second consecutive shutout.
Meanwhile, Lakota West’s senior goalkeeper Kelsie Lee also stepped up with five saves and made multiple key stops during a late second-half push by the Lions.
“She is outstanding. Without her in the goal, games would have a different outcome. It is that plain and simple,” Schafer-Kalkhoff said of Lee. “She is amazing. I don’t know how she is not picked up by D-I school already.
“I am going to have to get on the horn and make some calls because she is definitely a D-I keeper.”
D-I keeper or not, Lee fended off a flurry of Ursuline scoring opportunities near the end of the second half.
First, she punched a corner kick by senior Violet Goodwin out of crowd with about 12 minutes to go. Then, with 5:41 left in the contest, sophomore Sara Robertson took a hard shot for the corner of the net that was saved by a diving Lee.
“We have been struggling lately,” Schafer-Kalkhoff said. “It is huge for us to come out with a tie against Ursuline, who was No. 2 coming in … to come out 0-0 with them is a great outcome for us and it is definitely something to build on.”