The 14th-seeded Olentangy Orange boys soccer team chased a 1-0 deficit for most of the first half and nursed a lead for most of the second en route to a 3-1 Division I sectional final win over visiting and 22nd-seeded Central Crossing Thursday night in Lewis Center.
The Comets struck first when Abdullahi Daud picked off a pass near midfield and sent a nice through ball ahead to John Mancias, who returned the favor a few dribbles later. Daud banged Mancias’ return pass past Orange keeper Jake Barnhart to open the scoring summary at the 29:54 mark of the first half.
It was then, trailing for the first time, the Pioneers picked up the pressure. They dominated possession for the rest of the half, nearly scoring on a series of set pieces — mostly corner kicks and long throw-ins into the box — before finally punching one past Comet keeper Elisha Jackson with 6:58 left in the half.
Jake Storrer set the table, beating his man to the corner before sending a centering pass into the box. Carson Cutler, streaking in from the outer edge, headed it home for the equalizer.
Things stayed knotted at one until halftime, but not much longer than that.
Nate Harding scored what proved to be the game-winning goal six minutes into the second half, collecting a direct kick from Carter Musgrove and depositing it into the back of the net with a one-touch finish.
Musgrove then converted a penalty kick with 26:06 left to smooth out the scoring summary.
The win sets up a showdown with fourth-seeded Olentangy Liberty, which knocked off Franklin Heights in its sectional semi, in Tuesday’s district semifinal. Action is set to start at 7 p.m.
Also: DeSales 4, Delaware Hayes 1; Marysville 4, Big Walnut 1; Olentangy 3, Mount Vernon 0.
Olentangy Liberty cruised to a tournament win Thursday night, blanking visiting Dublin Coffman 7-0 to advance to Tuesday’s Division I regional semifinal against New Albany.
Makena Harrington and Lucy Keeler, who scored her 29th goal to break the program’s record for goals in a season, both had hat tricks to lead the way. Lily Weis also scored in the win.
Olentangy def. Chillicothe 25-4, 25-10, 25-16; Olentangy Liberty def. Canal Winchester 25-7, 25-14, 25-14.