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Article in Dayton Daily News by David Jablonski:

Posted on: November 22, 2021
state champions


*Article written by David Jablonski for the Dayton Daily News.

 

COLUMBUS — Those signs honoring state championship teams outside cities across Ohio, Waynesville can put one up now.

Waynesville High School’s girls soccer team claimed the school’s first state team championship in any sport by beating Ottawa-Glandorf 1-0 in the Division III final at Lower.com Field on Friday (November 12, 2021).

“I’m speechless because every year we go into the season with our main goal of winning the state championship,” senior defender Savanna Amburgy said, “and we’ve never gotten this far in school history. I’m just incredibly proud of us because we put all of our effort into this. Ever since June, we’ve been coming out and and getting better. I’m just grateful to be on this team, and I just knew this was the year.”

Senior Emma Whitaker’s scored the only goal with 27:38 to play in the game. After a corner kick, she corralled a loose ball in the center of the penalty box, let it drop to her feet, touched it once and then drilled it into the top of the net as one defender raced at her.

“This is the state championship,” said Whitaker, who committed to Tusculum University in May. “It’s like a one-time thing. If you don’t hit the shot, you don’t, but I took it and I made it.

“I thought it was great,” Amburgy said. “I saw her turn. and I knew that she could hit it because we do it in practice all the time. When she turned, she had a great angle, and I believed that it would go in.”

“It was only a matter of time,” senior defender Kate Handle said. “She had a bunch of shots earlier in the game. This is the one that went in.”

It was Whitaker’s team-best 16th goal of the season and her first since the third round of the playoffs.

The defense, led by junior goalkeeper Gracyn Armstrong, did the rest. Waynesville outscored its six tournament opponents 25-0. Waynesville took 15 shots to five by Ottawa-Glandorf.

“We started off the season with the idea that we wanted progress not perfection,” third-year coach Kelley Bricker said, “and these girls have worked hard every single game to get better and better and better. Tonight was another example of that. We worked every minute to play better and better and play wide, play fast and find the back the net. They did a great job of showing real grit out there and battling on the field.”
Waynesville finished the season 17-6-0, while Ottawa-Glandorf, which was making its first state championship game appearance, finished 21-2.

These are the first state soccer championships being held at the new home of the Columbus Crew. Lower.com Field opened last summer. For years, the games had been held at MAPFRE Stadium, the Crew’s old home.
 
Making its second state final four appearance and first since 2002, Waynesville advanced to the championship game with a 5-0 victory against Winchester Eastern in the semifinals. The Spartans won their first five tournament games by a 24-0 margin.In its previous final four appearance in 2002, Waynesville lost 2-1 to Cincinnati Wyoming in overtime in a Division II semifinal at West Carrollton High School. Bricker, then a sophomore goalkeeper, made 12 saves in the game.

Asked what it was like to win a state championship all these years later at her Alma Mater, Bricker said, “It’s pretty incredible, especially with a great group of girls like this who have bought into the program. (The seniors) down to the freshmen bought in in June and continued to show up and work hard. I know I can remember vividly how heartbreaking it was when we didn’t make it (in 2002), and to have these girls experience not only the community support that we got but the win on top of that and just the support of the team and the alumni that came back, it is a phenomenal, unique experience that really only happens at state championship games. I couldn’t be more ecstatic that these girls got the opportunity and actually seized the opportunity.”

winning

GIRLS SOCCER ROSTER:

Name and Uniform Number:
Gracyn Armstrong (00)
Baylee Williams (1)
Kate Handle (2)
Jillian Layne (3)
Kyla Harvey (4)
Emmy Lezotte (5)
Allie Freese (7)
Lynsie Kuhns (8)
Emme Greely (12)
Alyza Camp (13)
Laine Kuhns (14)
Maddie Beuchat (15)
Kayann Whitt (17)
Emma Whitaker (18)
Brooke Woody (20)
Savanna Amburgy (21)
Libby Bulach (22)
Samantha Erbach (26)
Rebecca Drew (27)
Caroline Stupp (30)
Lillian Crumback (32)
Avery Whitaker (50)


Coaching Staff and Team Managers:
Kelley Bricker (Head Coach)
Sean Falkowski (Assistant Coach)
Katelyn Shepherd (Assistant Coach)
Aleigha Post (Team Manager)
Adelynn Harrison (Team Manager)
Danie Scamorza (Team Manager)
Reagan Russell (Team Manager)

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