Injuries tend to become more prevalent as the season wears on — something the Olentangy Liberty girls soccer team knows a thing or two about.
Playing without leading scorer Sarina Dirrig and both backup goalies, the Patriots got a quick goal and made it stand in a 1-0 non-league victory at Dublin Jerome Saturday.
“We definitely didn’t have the vision that we normally do,” Patriots coach Kristen McMahon said. “But, I’m really proud of the way we played.”
Abby Townsend took a pass from Abby Jones off a Sydney Weaver throw-in on the left side and dribbled to the center of the field before letting go on a floater that beat the goalie 3:13 into the game.
“She took an awesome shot,” McMahon said. “That was the game … it was really exciting.”
Afterward, the Patriots (10-1) held on for dear life.
Liberty goalie Emma Campbell made a leaping save on a shot by Jerome’s Madison Burrier — a similar strike to Townsend’s goal just under 27 minutes in. The ball trickled away when Campbell landed.
Jerome’s Rachel Butler was there for a quick tap-in, but Campbell recovered to stop that shot as well.
The Celtics peppered the Liberty net late in the second half. Deanna Prochko, Emma Sears and Erin Griffith each had a shot on goal on the same possession, but Campbell stood tall.
“I think (Jerome) can play pretty well in times of urgency,” McMahon said. “I’ve seen them play in a few games and when they need to score goals, they can.”
Campbell, who was the only true goalie for the game, finished with nine saves to lead Liberty.
“She’s done a tremendous job this year,” McMahon said about her goalie. “She saved us a lot of times (Saturday).”
Campbell, who recently committed to the University of Rochester, was the only goalie on the roster at Jerome.
Dirrig sat out because of a shoulder injury she sustained in Thursday’s 3-2 win at Westerville North. McMahon said Dirrig should be back next week.
“(Dirrig) is definitely a loss for us,” McMahon said. “But, I’m glad the girls could get it together and I think we filled that role very nicely – Lindsey Kijowski stepped into that role.”
Jess Walsh finished with seven saves for the Celtics (7-2-2).
Next, Liberty faces another tough non-league test when it faces Bishop Watterson at home Tuesday night at 7:15 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.