Throw-ins aren’t usually the most dangerous of set pieces.
The 12th-seeded Canal Winchester boys soccer team made the most of its tosses, though, scoring two goals off throw-ins to upset fourth-seeded Olentangy Berlin 2-0 in a Division I district semifinal Tuesday night in Delaware.
The first came less than a minute and a half into the game as Chase Alwood fired a throw-in from the left sideline into the box, where Evan French got a head on it and redirected it past a diving Joey Dittmar to give the Indians a 1-0 lead with 38:35 left in the first half.
Berlin dominated the rest of the half in terms of possession, set pieces and shots on goal, but couldn’t crack a disciplined and organized Canal back line.
Mike Lapid looked to answer in a hurry, but his cross went through the box without finding a foot. The Bears’ Noah Lentz sent a free kick toward Lapid a few minutes later, and the junior forward did a good job to settle it, but his shot was snagged by Canal keeper Caden Groff.
Lapid gained control just outside of the box a few minutes later, curled around his defender and sent a shot that looked destined for the back of the net at the 30-minute mark of the first half, but Canal’s Hussam Mohamednour came from seemingly out of nowhere to save the day with a non-keeper save.
Berlin’s Ryko Bordurov had a good look off a pass from Quinn Berry later in the half, but the shot went just wide.
Both teams looked to regroup during the intermission, but the second half played out almost exactly like the first … only the goal came late instead of early. Berlin had some dangerous chances, including on-target rockets from Ryan Betts, Erik Britz and Lapid, but Groff was there to make the save each time.
The back-breaker came with 16:17 left when, with Berlin again dominating the possession, Canal was awarded a throw-in. Alwood took it, this time aiming for the back post. His throw just got over a leaping Dittmar, deflected off a body in the box and came to rest in the net to double the Indians’ advantage.
Berlin battled to the end, getting a few decent looks at goal over the course of the last 10 minutes or so, but Groff would not be beaten.
Thomas Worthington 2, Olentangy Liberty 1, OT
The Patriots’ Riley Carrier evened things up with a goal off a Will Hornbaker feed with less than 15 minutes left in regulation, and things stayed that way until overtime, but the host Cardinals’ Evan Hoke scored in the extra session to notch a thrilling Division I district semifinal win Tuesday night in Worthington.
Liberty goalie Andrew Bartosik made a diving stop on a shot by Matias Barinas, but Thomas won the game on the ensuing corner kick as Hoke deposited a nice ball from Barinas into the back of the net for the game-winner.
Also: DeSales 4, Buckeye Valley 0.
Olentangy Liberty played like the top-seeded team it is, sweeping away 17th-seeded Delaware Hayes in a Division I district semifinal Tuesday night at Central Crossing.
The Patriots, who got a team-best 11 kills and four aces from McKenna Cook, won the first set 25-11 before sealing the deal with wins of 25-16 and 25-12 in the second and third, respectively.
Mackenzie Dyer and Abbey Queen backed Cook with 11 digs apiece while Nicole Russell finished with three blocks and Gabi Moulton collected 31 assists.
Natalie Davis had six kills to lead the Pacers. Other top contributors included Rylea Gist, who had a team-best nine assists; and Madison Desmond, who finished with 11 digs in the setback.
Also: Olentangy Orange def. Licking Heights 25-17, 25-22, 25-17.
Bishop Watterson 2, Olentangy Liberty 0; New Albany 2, Olentangy 0; Thomas Worthington 5, Olentangy Orange 0.