DELAWARE – Opportunities were few and far between and Anthony Reisman made the most of his with 9:46 left in overtime to give Upper Arlington a 1-0 win at Olentangy Berlin in the second round of the Division I boys soccer district tournament Thursday night.
“I think it just took a bad bounce for us,” Berlin coach Josh Diehl said. “Upper Arlington is a good team and they capitalized on the chance. That’s unfortunately how the game goes sometimes.”
Reisman ended up with the ball on the left side behind the defense and slid it by the goalkeeper for the game’s only goal.
“The guys made a play,” UA coach Kevin Donovan said. “We told them before the overtime – it’s even right now and can someone find that moment where time freezes and you make the play. It just takes one. Everything opened up and the waters parted. The kid made a play and it was a heck of a hit.”
No quarter was given in regulation. Neither team had a shot on goal until UA’s Sergio Ly in the 39th minute — a shot that was saved rather easily by Berlin goalkeeper Connor Sexton.
“We knew that going in,” Donovan said. “If you watched (Berlin) all year – they didn’t give up much and we didn’t concede much. We told our guys it was going to be tight. They may get three chances and we may get three chances. Whoever gets the one (to go) is going to walk out of here. They’re well-organized and we’re well-organized – that’s how that game was always going to go.”
Tenth-seeded Berlin (11-2-4) didn’t get its first shot off until the 59th minute when Kyle Rinehart headed in a long throw-in by Dominic Antronica.
“(It was) a second-round game that felt more like a district final,” Diehl said. “We were definitely motivated and driven and I thought the guys performed very, very well. We expected the same thing from Upper Arlington and they surely did. It seems like chances were a luxury. The last chance was in their favor.”
It was Berlin’s first loss since a 3-0 setback to Dublin Scioto on Aug. 27 – a stretch of 12 games where it went 9-0-3.
Berlin, which had its first senior class, played in its first Division I tournament after making a district final in Division II in its inaugural season a year ago. The five seniors are Antronica, Ethan Cochran, Cody Collins, Luke Eisenhower and Adam Wiseman.
“I don’t think I could give it just words to say how much they’ve done,” Diehl said. “They just made very high standards and expectations for the program to come. We’re fortunate to have quality guys that happen to be good soccer players. They’re very coachable and very good teammates and that’s what high school sports should be about.”
Sexton had four saves for Berlin and MacGuire Scholl stopped three shots in goal for 11th-seeded UA (12-4-2).
UA hosts 24th-seeded Gahanna Lincoln in a district semifinal Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Also: Dublin Jerome 4, Big Walnut 0; Gahanna Lincoln 3, Olentangy 1
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.