It took the longest undefeated streak in state history to end Bexley’s season.
Dayton Carroll grabbed an early lead, steadily added to it and increased its state-record undefeated streak to 59 games with a 4-0 victory against the Lions last night in a Division II soccer state semifinal at Hilliard Bradley.
“We came into the season not expecting anything like this (run),” senior captain Jordan Hoffman said. “I couldn’t be happier with where we are right now, even though the game was what it was. We gave it our all.”
Carroll advances to the final at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Crew Stadium against Cuyahoga Valley Christian.
The game unraveled for the Lions (14-4-4) after the midway point of the first half when they were unable to convert two chances.Trailing 1-0, Bexley midfielder Adam Hirsch played a long ball over the top to teammate Jacob Cini, who stayed onside and beat charging Carroll goalkeeper Noah Kummer to the ball. As he slid under Kummer, Cini tapped the ball toward the open net, but his attempt was cleared at the last second by a Carroll defender with 18:10 left.
The Lions maintained pressure and again nearly tied the score with about 8:30 remaining, but senior Jacob Hodge’s header off a cross from Tucker Stas caromed off the crossbar and out of harm’s way.About a minute later, Carroll (18-0-4) doubled its lead when Vonne Byrd corralled the ball deep inside Bexley’s defense, took a few touches and got off a left-footed shot that beat Sebastian Parra-Maya from straight-on with 7:17 left until halftime.
“We knew we were probably going to have limited opportunities and we had to take them when we got them,” Bexley coach Greg Kullman said. “Unfortunately, they didn’t go in for us. If we put one of those in, it’s probably a different game.”
It took the Patriots less than two minutes to take the lead. After a Byrd corner kick was deflected back at him, the senior sent the ball into a scrum inside the area. One pass later, senior Zach Zwiesler’s low attempt rolled past a screened Parra-Maya just 2:49 into the first half.
Byrd’s second goal came with 27:53 remaining on a cross into traffic from Trae’ Collins, and Zwiesler added his second with 20:24 left on a laser of a free kick from about 40 yards.
It was Carroll’s 20th straight postseason win. Its last loss came against Bexley at Hilliard Bradley in a 2009 regional final.
Summit Country Day 3, Worthington Christian 0
Matt DeJesus, Joey Kunkel and Caelan Hueber scored and Cincinnati Summit Country Day (18-2-1) defeated Worthington Christian (13-6-3) in a Division III state semifinal match at Centerville.