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AHS girls soccer season recap

By Cort Reynolds

UPPER SANDUSKY--The Ada girls soccer team battled to a halftime tie, but they eventually tired and lost 5-1 at Upper Sandusky on a cold Monday evening, October 17, in Div. III sectional first round tournament action.

Seeded ninth, the Bulldog girls finished with a 5-12 record after the season-ending defeat. 

The seventh-seeded Lady Rams improved to 8-5-3 with the win, and advanced to the sectional finals.

"Cold weather and tired legs from our game Saturday night did us in," said Lady Bulldog first-year head coach Doug Dewese. 

Ada lost a tough 2-0 makeup match to Allen East Saturday.

Junior Olivia Burkhart scored the Bulldog goal in the first half on an assist by sophomore Lexi Poling.

The game was knotted 1-1 at the half, but the Rams scored four goals in the final 25 minutes to pull away and win.

"We played with them and had a tie at halftime," Dewese noted.

Bulldog freshman keeper Alyssa Nau made a career-best 26 saves in goal.

Upper Sandusky moves on to play at second seed Van Buren (11-4-2) Thursday, Oct. 20 at 5 p.m. in the sectional finals.  

The US/VB winner advances to the district semifinals at Bluffton Tuesday, Oct. 25. That match will likely be against the victor between sixth seed Allen East (11-5-1) and third seed Riverdale (7-5-2). 

Season recap
Ada opened the season with a promising 4-0 start, the best in program history. But injuries and a tough schedule led to losses in 12 of their last 13 matches.

Junior Ella Marshall set a program single-season record for goals with 16, and she dished out seven assists. Burkhart broke the team mark for most assists in a season with 13, and she also netted seven goals.

Poling contributed 10 goals and two assists.

"This was a good building season for us," Dewese summed up. "We learned a lot and the girls got better, which is all a first-year coach can ask. 

"It's a lot for players to get used to a new coach and I am very happy with the effort and positive attitude the girls brought while getting used to my coaching style.

"I had set some lofty goals (10 wins) which we didn't get to this year, but I know we built a base to be much more successful next season," he continued. 

"If I can get a good off-season work ethic out of the girls, we will be a serious threat to our whole schedule next year," he predicted.

Ada will return most of its roster, including its top three scorers, led by first team All-NWC/All-NCOSA scoring ace Marshall. 

Second team all-leaguer Burkhart and Poling, who was named honorable mention in both leagues, will be back as well. 

Ella Baderstcher, another honorable mention all-league pick, is the lone senior on the team.