Girls Soccer

Badin blanks rival Alter in Division II sectional

HAMILTON — Elizabeth Birri doesn’t find herself in position to score often. But when the Badin High School junior defender does, she puts it into the back of the net.

Birri scored two goals to close out the Rams’ 5-0 Division II sectional victory over Greater Catholic League Coed rival Alter on Thursday at Virgil Schwarm Stadium.

“As a defender, I really don’t think about shooting,” Birri said. “If I see the opportunity, I’ll take it. I was really excited, and all of my teammates were excited for me. It’s definitely something that I’ve wanted to do.

“I don’t remember when my other one was,” joked Birri, who now has three goals this season and four for her career. “I’ve been too busy thinking about defense.”

No. 3 Badin will face No. 5 Monroe on Monday at Virgil Schwarm Stadium.

The Rams (12-3-3) have won five in a row and are on a 12-game unbeaten streak. Their last loss was at Alter in a 2-0 contest on Sept. 6.

“Alter was a tough match for us,” Badin coach Chris Slusher said. “Tonight doesn’t indicate that. We had some meetings, and we just decided as a team from Sept. 11 on — we knew we could remember that date — we were going to refuse to lose. We’re just going to keep climbing the mountain.  We’re just going to keep getting better and focus on not so much winning, but just improving. We’re not going to look back.”

Badin is 6-0 in the postseason against its league rival since 2004, when the Rams fell to the Knights in the district finals. Alter finished the season at 9-5-3.

Badin, the GCL Coed champion three years in a row, attacked early Thursday.

An offsides call wiped away a quick goal minutes into the game, but the Rams kept the pressure steady when Morgan Creech took a touch pass from Braelyn Even and booted it from about 10 yards out for the game’s first goal at the 29:13 mark.

“We came out here and said, ‘We’re not losing again,’” Birri said. “So we did it. We’re ready to keep going.”

Emma Rhodis connected with a left-footer to put Badin up 2-0 with 12:19 remaining in the first half, and Creech scored her second goal of the night just before the break.

Birri sealed it with her two goals in the second half, and Badin sophomore goalkeeper Blake Sakach held the fort down for her fifth shutout in five games.

“Blake doesn’t get enough credit,” Slusher said. “When she does touch the ball or when we play the ball back to her, she does a phenomenal job with playing balls out of the back and finding targets up top.” 

“It’s been all defense,” Blake added. “In practice, we work on defense a lot. Our communication has helped out also. The shots haven’t been that hard to take care of lately because our defense steps up to the ball. When I do get the ball, I just want to get it out fast. That seems to be what’s been working.” 


Former Badin students have helped give the girls soccer program a boost as of late. 

“I’m really proud of our girls. They’ve got great chemistry,” Slusher said. “When you talk about a true family, we have alumni that are messaging and emailing our girls, wishing them good luck. 

“I can’t talk about one individual player because right now, they’re all just special.” 

Every player on the Rams’ roster saw the field Thursday. 

“Tonight, I don’t think we played our best brand of soccer,” Slusher said. “But we played with high intensity, and that’s sometimes all you’ll need to win games.”


The No. 10 Firebirds (10-5-3) move on to face No. 6 Anderson on Monday at Anderson. 


The No. 14 Indians (9-9-1) take on No. 1 Milford on Monday at Milford. Jael Neal, Kyra Posey and Olivia Stroud each had a goal to pace Fairfield, which has won three out of its last four.


The Middies saw their season end on Thursday night, finishing with a 2-12 record. 


The Thunderhawks saw their season end on Thursday night and finished with a 7-8-4 record.


Sarah Deaton scored the game-winning goal in overtime to lift the Hornets to a 1-0 victory over Bellbrook to advance in the Division II sectional tournament. No. 5 Monroe (8-4-6) has won three in a row and plays No. 3 Badin on Monday at Hamilton’s Virgil Schwarm Stadium.


The Wildcats saw their season come to a close on Thursday night and finished with a 5-11-2 record.


The No. 8 Mohawks moved their record to 10-8 and take on No. 2 Madeira on Monday. 


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