The 2017 OHSAA Girls Division II Soccer Final championship game between the Indian Hill Braves and the Lake Catholic Cougars photographed Friday, November 10, 2017 at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
Indian Hill junior goalkeeper Kate Marr ran to the corner and slid on her knees. Her teammates chased behind. A dozen yards away, their fans celebrated something they’d never been able to celebrate before: Indian Hill had won the Division II state title, Friday November 10, 2017.
The Braves beat Lake Catholic 2-0 on Friday evening at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio in the Ohio Division II state championship game, finishing with a 22-0-1 record. They were the only undefeated in Ohio girls soccer in the 2017 season. And they dominated the match instantly. Eighty-four seconds in, senior forward Morgan Jackson gave Indian Hill in the lead when Lake Catholic goalkeeper Kennedy Solymosi was caught out of position and Jackson tapped the ball into an open net. It was the fast start the Braves needed, as the Cougars grew in possession and momentum as the first half played out. But junior forward Anna Podojil doubled the lead in the 24th minute when she turned a defender on the edge of the penalty box, then dribbled in and pushed a backpost shot past Solymosi.
Indian Hill led 2-0 at halftime.
The Cougars did have chances to cut into the deficit. However, a sturdy Braves backline, as well important saves from Marr, kept the team’s second clean sheet in two state matches this year. Five minutes into the second half, Marrs mishandled a cross into the goal box and her teammates had to make a goal-line clearance. Roughly two minutes later, Marrs had to make another save. Minutes later there was another clearance off the line.
Friday’s match proved to be more of a complete win that previous blowouts during the postseason and regular had been. From an offensive standpoint, the Braves had the best attacking players in Division II. Jackson, who was named to the Cincinnati Hills League first team all four years in high school, finished the year with 34 goals and 19 assists. Podojil had 38 goals and 17 assists, while her sister, Ellie, had 15 goals and 14 assists. Indian Hill finished the season undefeated, winning all but one game: a 2-2 tie with Alter on Oct. 7. The program also beat Summit Country Day 3-2 on Sept. 9. The Silver Knights won the Division III state title earlier Friday at MAPFRE Stadium.
During the trophy ceremony after the game, Jackson and a few other teammates wiped tears from their eyes in happiness. Marr said although key seniors are graduating, she believes the program can return to Columbus in 2018.