The Big Walnut boys soccer season came to an abrupt end with a 1-0 loss in overtime to host Hilliard Darby in the second round of the Division I district tournament Saturday night in Hilliard.
Josh Govine headed in a Jackson Janetski corner kick with 11:25 left in the extra frame to send the 10th-seeded Panthers on to the next round.
The goal came after the BW defense held off three Blake Sawicki chances from in close. Michael Kline punched away a ball off the foot of Sawicki, saved another on a dive and Johnathan Mickley saved a third that bounced off Kline and bounced toward net.
“(That’s) a great Darby team – I give them a lot of credit,” BW coach Adam Gatton said. “They sold out when it mattered.”
All told, Kline made seven stops in net for the Golden Eagles (9-8), including a point-blank save on a shot by Sawicki in the 41st minute – Darby’s best scoring chance to that point.
“Michael’s been awesome for us this year … Johnathan Mickley’s been awesome,” Gatton said. “I couldn’t be happier with (all of) the boys and their fight. They left everything on the field tonight.”
The Panthers (8-4-6) had a couple of near goals in the first half, including a Govine shot that went off the right post off a Janetski corner in the fifth minute.
Jason Fleishman’s header buzzed the crossbar in the 10th minute, but the game remained scoreless.
BW’s Chris Geddis sent a shot on goal off a Sam Mason free kick in the 20th minute that was saved by Darby goalkeeper Nick Hermosilla – his only save of the night.
“We had opportunities. It’s just one of those things where we didn’t finish on those opportunities,” Gatton said.
The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the 24th-seeded Eagles. Gatton said the team came together in the practice after a 2-0 loss to New Albany Sept. 19.
“Guys understood their role (after that) and there was less complaining from other guys,” Gatton said. “Something clicked that night and ever since – it’s been roses.”
BW allowed just three goals over the next seven games, including five shutouts.
Darby advances to a district semifinal game at fourth-seeded St. Charles Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
Also: Olentangy Liberty 5, Whetstone 0; Olentangy Orange 8, Newark 0; Olentangy 4, Whitehall-Yearling 0.
Delaware Christian def. Berne Union 20-25, 25-19, 25-15, 25-19.
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