Junior forward Jacob Cini of the Bexley High School boys soccer team scored early in the second half to lead the eighth-seeded Lions to a 1-0 win over fourth-seeded Granville in a Division II district final Saturday, Oct. 29, at Westerville North.

Junior forward Jacob Cini of the Bexley High School boys soccer team scored early in the second half to lead the eighth-seeded Lions to a 1-0 win over fourth-seeded Granville in a Division II district final Saturday, Oct. 29, at Westerville North.

Bexley improved to 8-9-2 and advanced to play Middletown Fenwick or Springfield Greenon in a regional semifinal Tuesday, Nov. 1, at Huber Heights Wayne. The regional final will be played Nov. 5 at Hilliard Bradley.

Granville finished 12-5-1.

"It's been an up-and-down season and if you look at our record, we've got twice as many losses as we normally do," said Bexley coach Greg Kullman, whose team started 0-4 and was 2-6-1 at midseason. "But we're excited because the kids understand that the regular season is just preparation for the tournament. We're a lot better than we were when we started."

Cini scored from about 27 yards. He was on the far right wing and the left-footer hooked the ball in from the top of the box and over Granville freshman goalkeeper Parker Siegfried with 38 minutes, 12 seconds left in the second half.

"I've tried that shot all season and I finally got one to go in," Cini said. "It's one of those that you always feel lucky if it does make it. But we needed that. We were a little frustrated because we had many chances in the first half, but we didn't put any of those easier ones in."

The shot was one that Kullman told Cini would be open.

"After watching film, I told him if he gets that shot on the right side, to look to cut one back there," Kullman said. "We thought their backs would play back a little bit because they did not want to get beat. I told him he might have the space and time to cut one back like that and he made a spectacular shot."

Granville had tied Bexley at 1 in MSL-Ohio Division play on Sept. 6 and the two teams shared second place in the league behind champion Columbus Academy.

The Blue Aces had at least three shots as they scrambled in the final six minutes.

"We had a few good looks early and several chances late, but not much in between," Granville coach Shawn King said. "Bexley was the lower seed, but they have really played well lately and you saw that today. They created a lot of chances and their pressure on the ball caused us some problems."