The Olentangy Liberty boys soccer team settled for a runner-up finish for the third time in four Division I state final appearances.
The Patriots, who won their only state title in 2012, lost to Cleveland St. Ignatius 4-0 in the championship game Nov. 10 at Mapfre Stadium to finish 19-3-1. They also lost to the Wildcats in the 2011 and ’14 state finals.
St. Ignatius, which was ranked second in the nation by topdrawersoccer.com, finished 21-0-2 and earned its ninth state championship.
“They’re really good and we knew we were going to have to play really well to put ourselves in position to win,” said Patriots coach Marc D’Auteuil, whose team also lost to St. Ignatius 1-0 on Oct. 12.
The Wildcats were unable to convert on a pair of scoring opportunities during the first 10 minutes before taking a 1-0 lead on a goal by Everett Shorey off an assist from Danny Kalic with 19 minutes, 23 seconds left in the first half.
Shorey made it 2-0 with 1:16 left before halftime after receiving a pass from Luciano Pechota, with Ian Sugar also being credited with an assist.
“That was a backbreaker,” D’Auteuil said. “We made three massive mistakes that led to their goals and that one right before half was a dagger.”
In the second half, Shorey completed a hat trick by scoring with 28:08 remaining off a pass from Nick Russo.
The Wildcats completed the scoring with 15:02 left on an unassisted goal by Marko Rimac.
“It’s so hard on this stage, on this field, to know exactly what you’re going to get from everybody, and there were some kids that maybe struggled with being on this stage and being in this type of game, but the fight was there,” D’Auteuil said.