Lincolnview junior Savannah Bigham pursues the ball during the Lancers’ 1-1 raw with visiting Lima Senior on Saturday at Lincolnview High School. The Lady Lancers host Ft. Jennings on Thursday. (DHI Media/Tina Eley)
Lincolnview junior Savannah Bigham pursues the ball during the Lancers’ 1-1 raw with visiting Lima Senior on Saturday at Lincolnview High School. The Lady Lancers host Ft. Jennings on Thursday. (DHI Media/Tina Eley)
By Nick Johnson
DHI Media Correspondent
sports@timesbulletin.com
MIDDLE POINT —The first day of the high school soccer season brought clear and sunny skies and a season-opening draw as Lima Senior used a second-half goal to tie the host Lady Lancers 1-1 at Lincolnview High School.
Early in the match, each team had scoring chances.
Lima Senior struck quickly as Morgan Marchal tried to beat the Lincolnview keeper to the right post, but Julia Thatcher was able to dive and block the ball in the first minute.
Just seven minutes into the match, the Lady Lancers got their first shot on goal as Maddie Gorman tested Lima Senior goal keeper Essance Cowan.


The Spartans got a free kick in the 17th minute which lead to a corner kick in the 18th minute, but the Lincolnview defense stood strong and prevented the Lima Senior attack from scoring.
Minutes later, the Lancers broke through.
In the 23th minute, Claire Clay kicked a pass over the top of the defense to Gorman, who left it off to Hannah McCleery. McCleery, who was at the top of the penalty box, decided to test the Spartan keeper, sending a shot toward the goal and beating Cowan top shelf for the 1-0 advantage.
Some nifty defense by the Lady Spartans kept the score right there.
The Lady Lancers were awarded a corner kick in the 28th minute, Lincolnview decide to play it short as McCleery then crossed it to the back post to Autumn Proctor. Proctor brought down the cross to her foot and tried to quickly sneak the ball past the post and Cowan, but the Lima Senior keeper got help from her center back to prevent the Lady Lancers goal.
The Lady Lancers went into the first half up 1-0 over the Lady Spartans.
The start of the second half was big for Lima Senior, as it took them just three minutes to get the equalizer. Jenna Miles found Tajah Upshaw who shot the ball high to beat Thatcher to even up the match 1-1.
Upshaw got two more chances in the 67th and the 69th minute, but Thatcher was the better as she blocked both shots. The Lady Lancers ramped up the pressure in the final five minutes looking to get a would-be winning goal. Lincolnview got a corner kick and two free kicks right around the penalty box in the final five minutes of the match, but could not convert any of the opportunities.
“I thought we did a great job,” said Lincolnview coach Mark McCleery. “We are just shorthanded with 15 on the roster and just 14 here today. We got a couple of people sick and there are out there playing; we just ran out of gas. I was hoping in the second half, with the wind, that would help us and spark us. We were just a little short today.”
Coach McCleery reviewed their chances they had in the last five minutes to get the game-winning goal.
“We had pressure on them, got a couple shots but nothing solid. (We) just got a lot of youth on the team, seven freshmen playing on the team out there against juniors and seniors. All in all I think we did a pretty good job, just lacking a little experience, but that will come by the end of the season.”
The Lady Spartans ended the match with 21 shots on goal whereas Lincolnview had 10 shots on goal.