Girls Preparatory School (17-3) lost 3-1 to a familiar opponent in Father Ryan High School (13-3-2) in the Division II AA state semifinals on Thursday night.
The 2018 state final rematch was played in similar if not worse conditions as the field was torn up and held standing water in some spots, while rain came down for most of the match in frigid temperatures. On top of that both teams wore the same jerseys as the previous post season meeting.
“I had a game plan, until I saw the field; then the game plan changed a little bit,” GPS Head Coach Patrick Winecoff said. “There wasn’t a ton you could do except get the ball downfield and try to get something happening in the offensive third.”
Father Ryan knocked the Bruisers off balance early with a goal inside 10 minutes as senior winger Lily Rummo sent in a cross that found junior Brady West after a deflection. The Bruisers’s junior goal keeper Allie Williams got a hand on West’s shot, but it wasn’t enough as the ball trickled over the line to give the Irish a 1-0 lead.
Rummo set up the Irish’s second goal in 22’ minute as her cut-back-cross was hit first time by senior Hannah Morton into the back of net.
GPS came up with a fantastic response four minutes later. The Bruisers were awarded a free kick in a dangerous area to the right of the Irish’s 18-yard box. The cross sent in was cleared, but only as far as freshman Sasha Carbone. Carbone’s first time shot went bar down as the GPS bench and sideline erupted.
GPS grew into the second half, dominating the final 15 minutes creating quality chances and putting the Irish under tons of pressure.
But with eight minutes to play, Father Ryan junior Kelly Tuerff put the reigning champs to the sword. West’s original shot was saved by GPS’ junior keeper Kaedra Thorstenson, but the follow up was tapped in by Tuerff to make it 3-1.
GPS went into desperation mode and threw everything they had at Father Ryan. Freshman Kennedy Ball was denied from point blank range by the Irish’s sophomore keeper Allison Kirchoff in the 73’ minute. Seconds later junior Ashley Grant was again denied by Kirchoff with the rebound from Ball put wide. GPS simply ran out of time.
“I was super proud of our effort,” Coach Winecoff said. “The effort was exactly what we were looking for – especially in the second half – we were all over them."
GPS debuted 15 new faces to the state tournament and will only lose two seniors – Alex Magill and Meg Priest –, but the Bruisers will be back.
“We will miss Meg and Alex and they have meant a lot to our program for the last four or five years,” said Coach Winecoff. “Their leadership for us with such a young team this season has been awesome. They have done a great job of keeping us in the middle of the road, but it’s not easy when two thirds of your lineup is super young and just don’t know (about the pressure faced in state).”
Father Ryan will play Briarcrest (16-1-1) – who won the semifinal over Knoxville Catholic (12-7) 6-0 - in the state final on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
GPS 1 0--1
FR 2 1—3
FR 10’ Goal Bradie West (assisted by Lily Rummo)
FR 22’ Goal Hannah Morton (assisted by Lily Rummo)
GPS 26’ Goal Sasha Carbone (unassisted)
FR 72’ Kelly Tuerff (unassisted)
Stats: Shots/on target/Saves
(Email Parker Tuerff at email@example.com)