Unfortunately for the Lady Raiders, tough opponent Grace Academy was able to get a 1-0 win on Cleveland’s senior night.
“We didn’t get the win on senior night, but at the same time I look at how we played out there and we played great — I think it was one of the best games we’ve played,” Byrd commented. “Grace is a great team with only one loss and they’ve played some tough opponents. Grace is a finesse team that matched up well with us. It was a good battle, and we had a great time.”
The battle on the pitch resulted in a 0-0 tie at the half, as neither team was able to make a successful run to the goal.
In the 46th minute of play, Grace’s Olivia Rowell, with an assist from Emily Clark, was able to get the game-winning, and only, goal of the night.
The Lady Raiders had a few close scoring chances, but Division I goalkeeping prospect Abbey Bosco was able to come up big in the net for the Lady Golden Eagles.
“We didn’t finish on a couple of things, but when it comes down to it their goalkeeper is a D-I prospect and she plays like one. We put two halves together tonight and that was one of our goals,” Byrd stated.
Thursday night’s game, Cleveland’s last of the regular season, was more of a friendly match between two teams gearing up for the postseason, according to coach Byrd.
“It was a great night to just sharpen the saw and get both teams clicking again,” Byrd explained. “We were able to get into our bench a little more. We had Andrea Wilhelm on the field for almost the full 80 minutes.”
Cleveland will begin District 5-AAA tournament play on Saturday, when it hosts county rival Bradley Central at 10 a.m.
“I’m excited to go in Saturday morning and take on Bradley, because everything goes out the window when we play them,” Byrd said.
LADY GOLDEN EAGLES 1, LADY RAIDERS 0
Halftime score: 0-0. Goals: Olivia Rowell. Assists: Emily Clark Record: Cleveland 10-7-1; Grace Baptist Academy 13-1-1.