DeSales took advantage of a couple defensive lapses late in the first half and spoiled Olentangy Orange’s senior night with a 3-0 victory Tuesday night in Lewis Center.
Bella Shively scored after a lead pass by Jocelyn Gilmore got through a defender and left her one-on-one with Pioneers goalie Hannah Sargent with just under five minutes left in the first half.
“The first goal of a game is essential,” Pioneers coach Jim Daugherty said. “If you score, the other team has to play more open. When they score a goal, then they can sit back and play a little more defense … that’s what (DeSales likes) to do anyway.”
Gilmore tapped in a ball on the right side that deflected off an Orange defender with 28 seconds left in the first half to push the Stallions’ lead to 2-0 – a lead which they held at the break.
“We were outnumbered in the back,” Daugherty said. “We let too many people back side.”
Julia Anderson pushed the lead to 3-0 with a goal off Shively’s assist in the 54th minute for DeSales (9-3-3).
Sargent had five saves in goal for the Pioneers and Talia Kreuzer stopped five shots as well for DeSales.
Orange (2-9-4) had the advantage for most of the first half, though could only put one shot on goal, which came off the foot of Brynna Johnson.
The Pioneers also had a pair of fruitless corner kicks in the half that kept them out of the scoring column.
“We’re in every game (this year) – it’s close losses and ties – we can’t quite get over the proverbial hump and put a couple of wins together,” Daugherty said.
Orange had the goal surrounded midway through the second half. Brooke Delara missed high off a pass by Camryn Thompson. Then, Thompson had a shot saved on a free kick and Delaney Earl missed wide on a shot later.
“We always do a good job of creating chances,” Daugherty said. “Right now, it’s trying to finish some of those chances. Not only that, but making that assist pass a little easier for the person shooting. Both need to be cleaned up a little bit – that’s what we’ve been trying to work on, it just hasn’t come to fruition.”
The Pioneers honored seven seniors, including Sargent, Johnson, Delara, Jocelyn Butcher, Michaela Neil, Bailey Hurley and Alaina Foy in a ceremony before the game.
“I appreciate all of them and what they’ve done for the team,” Daugherty said.
Next up, Orange closes out the regular season with an OCC-Buckeye match at Westerville North Thursday night at 7:15 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.