LOGAN — DeSales High School boys soccer coach Domenic Romanelli did not immediately detect a weakness in Athens, his team’s opponent in a Division II regional final Nov. 3.
“I told their coach this is the best team he’s had across the board,” Romanelli said. “They put 11 guys out here who fought and worked hard. There wasn’t a weak spot we could attack. We just weren’t able to put them away all that quickly.”
Mike Cockerell had three goals and an assist as the Stallions pulled away for a 5-1 win at Logan and drew to within two victories of their fourth state championship in five years.
DeSales, which won its ninth consecutive game in improving to 18-3, will play Cincinnati Summit Country Day (14-6) in a state semifinal Nov. 7 at Xenia. The state final is Nov. 10 at Mapfre Stadium.
Cockerell opened the scoring on a penalty kick exactly 10 minutes into the game after Cristian Gomez was fouled in the box.
Josh Conroy made it 2-0 with 13:30 left in the half, scoring into the left corner of the net past diving Bulldogs goalkeeper Finn Mitchell.
Cockerell scored his second goal on a rebound off a free kick 23 seconds into the second half to make it 3-0, assisted on Alessandro Conte’s header off a corner kick with 20:15 left and scored his third goal 90 seconds later for a 5-0 lead.
“We backed each other very well, including up top, and that gave me opportunities and we finished them,” Cockerell said. “Josh’s goal was huge. It gave us a boost. We had the (penalty kick), but that second goal really got us going.”
Athens, which finished 18-2-1, broke the shutout with 13:13 left on a goal by Nick Bohuslawsky.Division I
Olentangy Liberty 2, St. Charles 1 (OT)
For the fifth time in program history, Liberty is headed to the Division I state tournament.
The Patriots got a goal by Ludwig Conrad with 11:15 left in the first overtime to beat St. Charles in a regional final Nov. 3 at Dublin Jerome.
Liberty improved to 18-2 and will play Cincinnati Moeller (18-1-3) in a state semifinal Nov. 7 at a site to be announced. The state final is Nov. 10 at Mapfre Stadium.
St. Charles finished 15-4-2.
“The game is ebb and flow and I don’t know if you’re going to find a more evenly matched game,” Patriots coach Marc D’Auteuil said. “If they’re not one of the two or three best teams in the state, I don’t know who is.”
Liberty took a 1-0 lead with 33 minutes left in the second half on a goal by Ash Rajmohan.
Ten minutes later, St. Charles’ Christian Buendia scored to tie the game at 1.
The Cardinals had an opportunity to score just before the end of regulation, but a shot went just over the goal with 25 seconds left.
In overtime, the Patriots’ Luke Sensky passed to Rajmohan, whose shot deflected off Cardinals goalkeeper Joseph Marchionda and Conrad scored the winning goal off the rebound.
“I saw that it went off the keeper, and if anything was going to bounce, I needed to be there,” Conrad said. “I just tapped it in. It feels good.”
—Jarrod UlreyDivision III
Grandview 3, Berlin Hiland 0
Manny Day scored all three goals for Grandview in its victory over Berlin Hiland in a Division III regional final Nov. 3 at Sparta Highland.
The fifth-ranked Bobcats, who won their second consecutive regional championship and their third regional title in four seasons, improved to 16-2-3 and advanced to play third-ranked Miamisburg Dayton Christian (19-2-1) in a state semifinal Nov. 7 at London. The state final is Nov. 10 at Mapfre Stadium.
Day, who scored six goals in a 7-2 win over Wellington in a regional semifinal Oct. 31 at Gahanna, has 48 goals on the season.
“I am locked in right now,” Day said. “At the beginning of the season, I felt like this, but then in the middle, I was kind of out of rhythm. I have been pretty mentally focused over the past few weeks.”
Day scored with 9:03 left in the first half, 33:50 left in the second half and 16:33 left in the contest, while Bobcats goalkeeper Lance Trares had 11 saves.
With the game scoreless with 24:40 remaining in the first half, Trares came out for a save, only to slip to the ground. A Hiland player then kicked the ball past Trares for what appeared to be a sure goal, but Bobcats defender Sam Freeman came in from the left and deflected the ball away from the net to prevent the goal.
“Defensively, we have been working all season on that type of situation,” Grandview coach James Gerdes said. “We play a formation that sometimes gives up that type of chance. We play a fairly high defensive line and every now and then someone will get in behind. It’s one of those things we do every day in practice is clear (scoring) opportunities like that.”
Goalie Brant Klink had seven saves for Hiland, which finished 16-4-1.