Delaware Hayes boys soccer coach Josh Diehl doesn’t want one result – Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to visiting Worthington Kilbourne in the first round of the Division I district tournament – to define the success or failure of his team.
Kilbourne, seeded 27th in the district tournament, scored both of its goals off set pieces in the first half and held off the 17th-seeded Pacers in the second half to cement the win.
“It’s easy to let one result kind of define how things (are),” Diehl said. “But, this group has gotten so much better over the course of four years. I’m still so extremely proud of them.
“They’ve been a blast to coach. So, we’ll focus on the relational side and remind these guys there’s more to who they are than just soccer players for sure.”
Kilbourne missed on its first two free kick chances from in close. But, not its third. Jimmy Sauder found the back of the net off Jacob Roberts’ kick to tie it back up at 1-1 with 10:33 left in the half.
Then, Chris Guerra gave the Wolves (5-8-4) the lead off a free kick with 4:10 remaining in the opening half.
“They’re dangerous on set pieces for sure,” Diehl said. “We knew they were pretty good at them and it felt like we prepared, but obviously, they still executed on set pieces tonight.”
The Pacers didn’t have many opportunities on net in the first half, but the one they did, they made count.
Zak Koch centered to Brody Kannally who scored on Delaware’s first shot on net for a 1-0 lead with 14:24 left in the half.
“I think that’s when we’re at our best is when we’re able to combine,” Diehl said. “I think Brody scored 19 goals for us this season … that’s what he does. The guys are happy to share the ball with him and set things up for him. It definitely felt like we had momentum (at that point).”
Noah Meehan had seven saves in goal for the Pacers (8-5-4).
Jason Bowen also had seven saves in goal for the Wolves.
Kilbourne faces fifth-seeded New Albany in the second round Saturday at 4 p.m. at Westerville Central High School.