November 13, 2020
D2 State Championship
Madison claims state soccer title in spectacular win over Granville
COLUMBUS -- The Madison girls soccer team waited almsot a full calendar year for redemption.
On Friday night the Rams got it at MAPFRE Stadium by bringing home a Division II state championship trophy in thrilling fashion.
No. 1-ranked Madison nipped No. 2 Granville 2-1 in a furious match peppered with tense moments and spectacular effort.
Madison freshman Naveah Lewis scored both goals and keeper Paige Eldridge made a number of superb saves to earn the Rams first state soccer title in school history.
Coach Zac Huff's team broke on top early when a corner kick was rebounded out to Ashleigh Bechtel who centered it to the right side of the goal where Lewis drilled it into the net for a 1-0 edge at 37:23 of the first half.
Granville controlled the ball in Madison's end for much of the first half, and finally broke through with the equalizer at the 7:37 mark. Senior Maddie Shoaps lofted a corner kick just in front of the Rams goal, where sophomore Ella Schneider headed it between the posts. That tied the game -- and it stayed that way through intermission.
Madison has been a second half team throughout the postseason, and showed it again here.
This time the Rams earned the game-winner when senior All-American Taylor Huff fired a shot of a free kick from just inside the midfield line. It bounced off Granville's keeper and onto the waiting foot of Lewis, who rifled it into the back of the net with 26:44 to play.
Bedlam broke out among Ram fans who could smell the title.
They were right too, because that finished the scoring, just not the drama.
Eldlridge then took the spotlight. The steady senior biggest moment came when she stopped a free kick from inside the penalty box at the 20:36 mark, and the Rams quickly cleared it away to save the biggest threat. Eldridge was outstanding throughout the match, snuffing every Granville attack in the second half.
It seemed only fitting Ohio's two best teams, according to the coaches poll, would decide the Division II state championship. They met once previously this season, which resulted in a 2-2 tie at Granville.
This marked the Blue Aces first loss of the season. Coach Scotet Forster's club finished the year 19-1-2.
Madison has not lost since last year's 2-0 state final defeat to Kettering Alter. The Rams completed this campaign 21-0-3. That ties a school record for most victories in a season.