Lynchburg Clay 1, South Webster 5
With a big win the in the district semifinals over Lynchburg Clay 5-1, South Webster advances to the district semifinals where they will face Wheelersburg next Thursday for a spot in the regional tournament.
“The first half, once again I figured the wind would play into it” said Jeeps head coach Corey Claxon, “It just makes it harder to clear the ball on the defensive end. We created enough in the first half to get a 2-0 lead. With the wind, we were able to do even more with the possession. We were able to create enough chances and limit their chances, and the odds usually go your way when you’re able to create more chances.”
The Jeeps opened up a two goal lead in the first half off two goals that came just 34 seconds apart from each other: one from Ty Collins at the 17:49 mark, and one from Shiloah Blevins at the 17:15 mark of the first half.
Touting their 2-0 lead heading into the break, the Jeeps were able to create three more scoring opportunities in the second half to really open up the game in their favor. Blevins scored his second goal of the match not even a minute into the half at the 39:07 mark to give South Webster the 3-0 lead.
The next goal of the match would be the Mustangs only goal as Andrew Cumberland scored and was assisted by Chris Young to cut their deficit to 3-1 with 12:56 remaining in the game.
However, South Webster was not quite done scoring for the day. Goals by Gavin Bennett at the 10:22 mark and Gabe Ruth at the 5:42 mark put the nail in the proverbial coffin to give the Jeeps the win by a final score of 5-1.
South Webster advances to the district championship next Thursday where they will face the Wheelersburg Pirates for the third time this season. “It’ll be an exciting game” said Claxon, “Two teams that know each other pretty well, we just have to stay focused take it one game at a time. We have to come out 100%, I think if our guys play up to their potential, we’re going to be happy with that effort, and we just have to hope that it goes our way.”
Valley 0, Wheelersburg 3
The second district semifinal matchup of the day resulted in a 3-0 victory in favor of Wheelersburg thanks to an aggressive attacking second half in windy conditions.
“Two different halves in the style of play you have to play” said Wheelersburg head coach Jon Estep following his team’s 3-0 victory Saturday afternoon, “It doesn’t help us in the first half where we were going into the wind, some of our guys who have a scoring mentality aren’t necessarily strong enough to get it through that wind, but we had a few runs in the first half that we just weren’t able to capitalize on. But the second half, with the wind at our backs, it allowed us to play more how we would like to play.”
Valley head coach Andy Johnson knew that going into the second half, that his team might have some issues going into the wind while the other side used the wind at their backs to their advantage, “I told the kids to be proud of what we did. We were here in the last four of our district, and that is something to be proud of. They’ve got a really good team, they were SOC champs. We tried hanging with them in the second half but just weren’t able to fight through the wind. We knew it, and they were able to put some good runs on us. But I give them a lot of credit, they’re a really good team. But I am so proud of all our kids and what all they’ve accomplished this year.”
Although the Indians played with the wind in the first half, they were unable to capitalize with the natural advantage as neither team was able to put a goal on the board through the first forty minutes.
Coming into the second half, with the wind at their backs, Wheelersburg was able to seal their spot in the district championship game.
The Pirates first goal of the game came off the foot of Athan Temponeras at the 32:15 mark of the second half off a perfectly placed through ball that allowed the senior forward to beat the keeper one on one.
Temponeras would have his second goal of the match at the 18:43 mark when Will Darling’s shot on goal bounced off the Indians’ goalkeeper, Wesley Holbrook, and landed at the feet of Temponeras who put the ball in the back of the net to give his team the 2-0 lead.
The Pirates third and final goal of the match came off the foot of Darling and was assisted by sophomore Aaron Jolly from a corner kick with just 15:00 minutes remaining in the match.
Wheelerburg’s victory Saturday afternoon gives them a date with the South Webster Jeeps Thursday evening at Waverly for the district championship with a spot in the regional tournament on the line.
“Now we’ve got to figure out a good game plan” said Estep in preparation for Thursday’s championship, “They came out and played really well versus Lynchburg Clay, at this point in the season I think they’ve had enough games under their belt on turf that they’re probably feeling comfortable. We’re going to hopefully come up with a way to challenge, and I think that’s the biggest thing is finding a way to challenge them early on in the game. If you can challenge them early, you’re going to give yourself an opportunity. We’re back to full strength for the first time in a little while with different guys being banged up. I like where we’re at, I like how we’re playing, but we’re looking forward to that third matchup.”
As Estep said, this will be the third matchup between the Jeeps and the Pirates, and it couldn’t be more fitting that it’s for the district championship. In their first matchup, South Webster won handily on their home field by a score of 7-1 on September 4th. 16 days later, on September 20th, the Jeeps won on the Pirates home field at Ed Miller Stadium in a much tighter contest, 2-0. Start time for the Southeast District championship game is currently set for 6:00 p.m. at Waverly.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT