LEWIS CENTER – It was brother versus brother between two Olentangy schools with two brothers on opposite teams.
Senior Ludwig Conrad scored three goals to lead Olentangy Liberty to a 6-1 victory at Olentangy to cap OCC-Buckeye play for both teams.
Ludwig also earned himself a yellow card on a play against brother and opponent Steyr Conrad, a junior and first year varsity player for Olentangy.
“It was fun,” Ludwig said. “I blew him on one tackle. He was laughing and I was laughing. But then I got a yellow card, so he was laughing at me as I walking off.”
It was the only time the two will get to face one another.
“I train with him at home and we try to make each other better,” Ludwig said. “(After practice), I’ll go get all the balls from our shed and we’ll go practice (together) on a turf field. We tried to make each other better so when we came out here tonight and played against each other – it really feels like it’s paid off.”
The Patriots, who already had the title in hand, finished off a three-year stretch in which they went undefeated in league play with one tie.
Ludwig’s first goal came on a header off a Luke Sensky free kick from low on the left to give Liberty (12-1-1, 5-0) a 1-0 lead with 23:24 left in the first half.
Olentangy’s Colin McComb tied it up with 7:29 remaining in the opening half.
“I think we physically stayed with them in the first half,” Olentangy coach Kyle Hamrick said. “We absorbed their high-speed pressure and their contact and kept our composure. That’s the best soccer we’ve played all season.”
The Olentangy student section provided some motivation for Liberty.
“They started chanting ‘overrated’ at us,” Ludwig said. “I think that lit something inside of us. That made us a little angry – so we tried to make a point of it.”
Jaggar Brooker had a goal and two assists – all in the second half. His goal gave the Patriots the lead with 29:10 left in the game. He fed Ludwig for his second goal less than four minutes later to extend the lead.
“It’s strictly energy and effort,” Liberty coach Marc D’Auteuil said. “We’ve had a couple of instances this season where in the first half – we’ve just been flat. Against a team like (Olentangy) where it’s their senior night and everything else – we knew we were going to get their best effort.”
Nate Logozzo, Ludwig and Riley Carrier each scored within six minutes of each other to blow the game open for the Patriots late in the second half.
“In the second half, we got tired,” Hamrick said. “It was like being pushed around by your big brother. With Steyr and Ludwig being on the field at the same time – big brother definitely pushed around little brother at times – which was fun to see and they had good fun with it. But that’s something we’ve struggled with this season … handling teams that are more physical than us.”
Grant Robinson had four saves in goal for Olentangy (5-7-4, 1-1-3) and Theron Handlon stopped three shots in net for Liberty.
Liberty caps its regular season at Cleveland St. Ignatius Saturday at 3 p.m.
Olentangy, seeded 19th in the Central District, hosts 46th-seeded Newark in the first round of the tournament Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.