AVON, Ohio – Rocky River’s postseason march was halted on Thursday night, as the Pirates dropped a 1-0 decision to the Bay Rockets in the title match of the Division II Elyria District Tournament.
For Rocky River (10-7-2), the loss comes after a pair of wins in the bracket, both in shutout fashion. It marked an untimely end to a four-game unbeaten streak (3-0-1). With the victory, Bay (11-5-3) has now ousted the Pirates in the district final in each of the last two years.
Rocky River held sway over much of the first half of play on what was a cool, cloudy evening at Joe Firment Stadium. The Pirates were on the plus side in possession time, but numerous pressures failed to yield a score. Maya Patti, Annie O’Toole and Lizzie Hamker had quality chances that went by the wayside as near-misses.
The Rockets came out strong in the second half, wresting away momentum from the Pirates. And that momentum netted a Bay goal in the 58th minute when Kealy Sullivan placed a shot over the reach of goalkeeper Sabrina Rick. The Rockets nearly added a second goal five minutes later.
The final 20 minutes were a physical tussle between the two west-side rivals. A tussle netting a pair of yellow cards – one a side — and more than a couple quality looks for the Pirate offense. But no game-tying goal.
Co-champions of the Great Lakes Conference in 2018 (along with Holy Name), Bay and River have now met six times since 2014. The Rockets are 4-1-1 over those half-dozen battles.
Thursday’s hard-fought battle in the district final marked Rocky River’s 11th game this season decided by one score. The Pirates went 3-6-2 over those 11.
Hard-fought battles by a tough pirate crew. On Thursday and in games prior. In games prior and in years prior by a graduating class of River athletes that went a combined 46-26-4 (.632) over the last four years.
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