In a matchup of teams making their first respective appearances in a state final, the Granville High School girls soccer team couldn’t rally from an early deficit and lost to Rocky River 3-1 on Nov. 8 in Crew Stadium in the Division II state final.
The Blue Aces gave up two goals in the first 10 minutes and trailed 2-0 until sophomore forward Nikki Cox scored on a penalty kick with 31 minutes, 13 seconds remaining.
Less than four minutes later, Rocky River’s Grace Bennett put the game away with a goal.
Bennett’s goal came after she mishit the ball and had it bounce off a defender and back toward her.
“They scored on their very first chance,” Granville coach Scott Forster said. “Those two forwards (Bennett and Abby Elinski) were the two best we’ve seen all year. It takes a lot of grit and a lot of character to bounce back from that, and we showed the true character of the team.”
Rocky River, which finishes 22-0-1, took a 1-0 goal on a goal by Bennett with 37:29 to go in the first half. Elinski then scored six minutes later.
Cox attempted a header with 9 minutes remaining in the first half that went just over the crossbar, but Granville had few other chances.
The Blue Aces, who never had won a district title before this season, finish 19-3-1.