Boys Soccer - Div. I State Final
'Dream' comes true as Liberty wins state
The Olentangy Liberty High School boys soccer team relied on its wings to win its first Division I state championship Nov. 10.
Using the wide field at Crew Stadium to their advantage, the Patriots overcame Sylvania Southview’s defensive-minded approach and won 2-0 a year after they lost 4-2 to Cleveland St. Ignatius on the same stage.
“I felt like (Southview was) going to play a bit defensive and they did,” said Patriots coach Rick Collins, whose team finished 22-1. “We felt like the wings would be where we’d have success. With the width of this field, it’s so difficult to try to pack things in because we could open it up. That’s where our play really developed today.”
Patriots forward Jared Robinson initially was credited with the game’s first goal in the eighth minute. He lined a header off the post and Southview tried to clear the ball, but it appeared to bounce off the stomach of Southview’s Samer Sarsour then hit Sarsour’s foot and dribbled in for an own goal.
Liberty added an insurance goal late in the first half. Tied up by Southview’s Chris Ellis off a corner kick, Liberty midfielder Donny Deep managed to break free and get the ball to forward Anthony Denoi, whose crossing pass was lined by Robinson to the left of Southview goalkeeper Eric Breeden.
“We definitely were on top of them the whole first half and we dictated the pace of the game,” said Robinson, a senior and Evansville recruit.
Southview (17-4-2) appeared to break the shutout with 9:43 left when Chris Ellis scored off his own rebound, but that was waved off because Jared Yoshino ran into Liberty goalkeeper Anderson deAndrade.
The Patriots were making their second state tournament appearance. It was the first for Southview.
“It doesn’t feel real. It feels like a dream,” said deAndrade, a senior who made three saves. “To be honest, I was skeptical at the beginning of the season but once we started getting the gears running … it’s 2-0 in the state final. We completely dominated. It’s an incredible feeling.”