The third seeded Dragons lost 3-1 to No. 2 seed Marian in the Class A semifinals at Morrison Stadium Saturday to finish their first season in Class A with a 14-4 record.
Highlights: Possession was pretty even between Gretna and Marian in the first half with a few shots on goal, in total. After leading scorer Sarah Weber left the game injury in the ninth minute and was replaced with Chaley French, who came up with a solid shot on goal in the 14th minute to set up a Gretna corner.
The corner was placed right in front of the goal, but Marians' goalie was able to get the ball out of the zone.
A minute later, Gretna's Savannah De Fini came from the left side for a shot that flew just to the left of the goal.
The rest of the half was back and forth with possession without solid shots on goal until with five seconds left, Marian scored off a rebound to head into the half leading 1-0.
The Crusaders outshot the Dragons 5-2 in the first half.
Gretna headed into the second half without Weber, Savannah Andrews and Carly Zabloudil because of injuries sustained in the first half.
Five minutes into the second half, French found an open shot but the one hopper was picked up by Marian.
The Crusaders added an insurance goal in the 60th minute. A kick into the box led to a header and then to another header for a goal to lead 2-0.
After putting an offensive attack together in the last half of the second half, Gretna tagged a goal from Marissa Ellingson from about 20-yards out to cut the Marian lead to 2-1 with seven minutes remaining in the half.
Marian answered back a minute later with a goal to extend its lead to 3-1 and, eventually, seal the victory.
Notable players: Gretna goalie Abbie Cogrove, who tallied six saves, and the defenders deserve credit for fighting with consistency through the Marian offensive pressure for most of the game. Ellingson notched the lone Dragon goal and French led the Dragon attack with two shots on goal.
From the coach: "Ill be honest with you. Even though the scoreline says 3-1 and we lost those three players early, I thought we were the better team and I did throughout the season. It goes to show the strength of our team."
- Gretna head coach Digger Hawkins