Back-up ’keeper, game sub lift BHS girls to 1-0 tourney win


BLANCHESTER — Backup goalkeeper Chloe Caplinger recorded a shutout as Blanchester defeated Batavia 1-0 Tuesday in a girls soccer Div. II sectional tournament match at Barbour Memorial Field.

Caplinger started in goal for Blanchester in place of regular goalkeeper, Regan Ostermeier, who was on the sideline with crutches. Ostermeier had nine shutouts during the regular season.

Blanchester and Batavia played to a 0-0 draw during the regular season. As an aside, the tie with Batavia was the first of an ongoing 11-match stretch Blanchester has played without a loss. The Ladycats are 6-0-5 during the streak.

Caplinger, making her first appearance in goal this season, had a strong match for the Ladycats, making several key saves to keep Batavia (5-9-3 on the year) from scoring. She finished the match with eight saves.

After the early portion of the match was played primarily in the middle of the field, Blanchester broke the scoring ice when Sierra Drake came off the bench and put BHS up 1-0 in the 27th minute. Drake took a pass from Emma Gundler and one-touched a shot from the edge of he box to beat the Batavia keeper.

Neither team scored the rest of the half and the Ladycats went to the break with a 1-0 advantage.

In the second half, the Ladycats defense held strong. Brynne Cain stood out on defense, coach Kurt Ballinger said.

“All season I have praised the depth of this team as its biggest strength and that depth paid off in a big way (in this match) with Caplinger and Drake stepping up in a big way in a high-pressure situation,” said Ballinger.

Blanchester, 9-1-7 on the year, will face No. 4 seed Wyoming 7 p.m. Saturday at Wyoming High School. The win was the first tournament win for BHS since the 2010 season.

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