By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Missed opportunities was one of the things Concord High School girls soccer coach Todd Hesselbart pointed out after his team dropped a 3-0 decision to South Bend St. Joseph in a regional semifinal contest Wednesday evening at Goshen High School.
“We had three or four good scoring opportunities in the second half that we didn’t finish,” the coach said. “Against a very good team like St. Joseph you have to finish any chances that you get.”
Concord had a free kick that hit the crossbar at 36:01 of the second half and a shot from close range that was stopped by the St. Joseph freshman goalie Catherine Edmonds with 29:18 left to play. But probably the best chance came with 7:23 remaining. A Concord shot got behind Edmonds and was rolling along the goal line just outside the net. Before any Concord player could get to it a St. Joseph defender cleared the ball out of the box.
“St. Joseph has good speed and they move well off the ball,” Hesselbart said. “But their best defense was possessing the ball. That kept it away from our offense.
“I feel like we played pretty well given we were playing against a very talented team.”
Concord finishes the season with a 15-2-2 record.
“I’m proud of the girls,” Hesselbart said. “Both how they played tonight and what they accomplished this season. I’m not sure how many people looked at our team at the beginning of the season and thought we could finish 15-2-2.
It was the final game for Concord seniors — Morgan Books, Sarah Emerson, Jacqueline Greenawalt, Jennifer Reyes, Raquel Rich and Amanda Schoeffler.
“The leadership we got from the seniors was a key,” Hesselbart said. “The leadership started with them and trickled down through the rest of the team.”
Books, Emerson, Greenawalt and Reyes were starters that will have to be replaced next fall.
“It’s too bad that I have to say goodbye to the seniors that I do,” the coach added. “They are going to leave some holes in our team that someone is going to have to step up and fill next season.”
Emerson was one example of the leadership displayed by the senors.
“She is hurt,” Hesselbart said. “She did a great job considering she was basically playing on one leg. She and the rest of the seniors showed a lot of heart.”
St. Joseph scored at 35:35 of the opening half on a goal by freshman Samantha Kambol assisted by senior Kate Vasile. The score remained 1-0 until their second goal at 18:00 of the second half by junior Amanda Hastings assisted by senior Catherine Raster. The final goal came with 3:25 left when Raster found the net assisted by freshman Meredith Greve.
The winners had advantages of 12-6 in shots on goal and 7-2 in corner kicks. Junior Jennifer Miller made seven keeper saves for Concord and Edmonds four for St. Joseph.