CINCINNATI – Franklin Monroe’s season came to an end Thursday night at Mariemont High School as the Jets lost 3-0 to Roger Bacon, the state’s third ranked team, in the district finals of the Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament.
It was the sixth consecutive year that Franklin Monroe reached the district finals. The Jets have continually faced stiff competition in the district tournament, and this year was no different with Roger Bacon, who’s ranked third in Division III by the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association.
“Our game plan was to sit back and try to counter them,” Franklin Monroe boys soccer coach Danny Diceanu said. “We knew that they had too much firepower, and when you see the speed it was like lightning. And it wasn’t just one or two guys; it was the whole team. I got some good scouting reports so I kind of knew what we were against speed-wise, but until you see it live … it’s a whole different animal.”
Roger Bacon controlled the pace of play for most of the night and took a lead just over seven minutes into the game when Gideon Fomba scored the night’s first goal, putting the Spartans up 1-0.
With just over six minutes remaining in the first half Roger Bacon’s Ethan Hay scored to increase the Spartan advantage to 2-0. Hay also scored the game’s final goal on a penalty kick with 24:17 remaining in the second half.
“Overall I thought we didn’t do too bad considering the opponent and the skill they had,” Diceanu said.
With Thursday’s loss Franklin Monroe ended the season with a 14-6 record and a district runner up trophy.
“It’s our goal every year to get at least this far and try to get beyond this,” Diceanu said. “I think this is the sixth year in a row so we’re doing some good things. Just keep running into better teams than us unfortunately at this stage. It’s the nature of the game. You play the game for a reason. The better team usually comes out on top, and today they were much better than we were.”
The loss also ended the high school soccer careers of the Jets’ five seniors: Dallas Arnett, Cade McGlinch, Kaulin Morris, Jacob Shellabarger and Cody Webb.
“That’s a nice group,” Diceanu said. “It’s going to be hard to see them go and hard to see them replaced, but we do that every year – we graduate players, and unfortunately you’ve got to replace them. You get attached to them having them for four years. I’ve had some of these guys since they were 11 years old, seeing them, playing them, coached some of them. It’s going to be hard to see them go.”