The Olentangy Liberty High School boys soccer team’s bid to repeat as Division I state champions ended with a 1-0 loss to Mason on Nov. 6 at Centerville.
Jack Clark scored less than two minutes into a state semifinal, and the Comets made it stand.
“They had a nice crossing pass, he got the ball, dribbled across and squared up a good, hard shot,” Patriots coach Rick Collins said of Clark, who has committed to the University of Cincinnati. “Mason came at us right away. We struggled all night to really get that one great chance to tie it.”
Junior goalkeeper Sam Nelson had two saves for Liberty, which finished 17-4-1 and had outscored its opponents 17-1 in five postseason games before the semifinal.
The game was a rematch of a state semifinal last year, won by the Patriots 1-0 at nearby Bellbrook.
According to Collins, Liberty’s best scoring chances came in the middle of the second half. Off a volley, junior midfielder Donny Deep sent a shot over the net. A short time later, junior midfielder Ben Hagman couldn’t convert on a shot from about 20 yards.
“They had much more pressure on us than we were able to put on them,” Collins said. “Their keeper didn’t have to make any hard saves. The best chances we had were sent wide or over (the net).”
Mason improved to 20-0-1 and will play Mentor in the state final at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 at Crew Stadium. Mentor defeated Whitehouse Anthony Wayne 1-0 in the other semifinal Nov. 6.
Watterson 2, Cincinnati Indian Hill 1
The Watterson High School boys soccer team beat Cincinnati Indian Hill 2-1 in overtime in a Division II state semifinal Nov. 6 at Huber Heights Wayne.
The Eagles improved to 18-4 overall and will play Richfield Revere in the state final at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at Columbus Crew Stadium.
Richfield Revere defeated Bay Village Bay 4-3 in the other semifinal.
In its second state tournament appearance, Watterson reached the state final for the first time.
“This feels like a dream,” said Watterson senior goalie Trevor Funk, who recorded eight saves. “We had no idea we could get this far at the beginning of season, and it’s still setting in that we've won this game.”
Forward Tommy Geraghty scored both of the Eagles’ goals, including the game-winner on a header off a cross from midfielder Michael Gilbert on a corner kick in the sudden-victory overtime period.
“Tommy played so well today that I’d say he was the best player on the field even without those goals,” Watterson coach Chad Smith said. “Tommy put us up one goal in the first half with a rocket from 20 yards out that went into the top-left corner of the net. In overtime, Michael Gilbert had a beautiful cross to the back post and Tommy went up in the air … and finished it.”
-- Aaron Blankenship
Cincinnati Summit Country Day 2, Worthington Chrisitan 0
BELLBROOK -- For the second consecutive year, the Worthington Christian High School boys soccer team’s season ended with a loss in a Division III state semifinal to Cincinnati Summit Country Day.
The Warriors, who were playing in the state tournament for the ninth consecutive season, lost to the Silver Knights 2-0 on Nov. 6 at Bellbrook to finish 15-4-2.
Summit Country Day improved to 15-2-4 and will play Mansfield Christian for the title at noon Saturday in Crew Stadium. Mansfield Christian defeated Gates Mills Hawken 3-0 in the other semifinal.
“Going into the second half, we thought we really had it and would put in a couple because we were really pushing it,” junior forward J.J. Phillips said. “We have great leadership, and what makes me most disappointed is that we couldn’t do it for the seniors.”
The Warriors fell behind 1-0 with 28 minutes, 22 seconds left in the first half on a goal by Austin Smythe.
Senior forward Sam Condon and senior midfielder Mason Highman each had shots that hit off the post late in the first half.
Condon, however, went out with an ankle injury with 19:50 remaining and didn’t return.
Then with 15:04 left, Summit Country Day made it 2-0 on a goal by Matt Meister.
Last season, Worthington Christian lost to the Silver Knights 3-0 in a state semifinal.
“(Warriors coach) Dan (Roads) is one of the best young coaches around, and it’s always a chess match against him,” said Barnard Baker, who recently announced he was stepping down as Summit Country Day coach.
-- Jarrod Ulrey