DUBLIN – Jaggar Brooker scored off a free kick in the first half and added an assist in the second to lift the Olentangy Liberty boys soccer team to a 3-0 win over Westerville Central in a Division I regional semifinal Wednesday night at Dublin Jerome.
Brooker scored his goal from in front — about 25 yards out — to give the Patriots (16-2-1) a 1-0 lead with 21:01 left in the first half.
“I thought a couple of our kids that didn’t play well Saturday (against Upper Arlington) – Jaggar and Ludwig (Conrad) – were the best players on the field today,” Liberty coach Marc D’Auteuil said. “I think that went a long way.”
The lead stood until Graydon Shook scored in traffic by using his heel to push the lead to two with 33:30 left.
“I kind of mis-trapped it a little bit,” Shook said. “The defender fell down. It was set perfectly (by Nate Logozzo) and I didn’t think I had enough time to turn and hit it.”
Brooker, running down the left sideline, placed a soft liner out of reach of the Central goalkeeper where Ludwig Conrad finished it to push the Liberty lead to 3-0 with 14:55 remaining.
“My center-back Greyson (Follmer) played me a through ball and I just took a couple of dribbles and saw Luddy wide open and played it to him,” Brooker said.
The Patriots beat the Warhawks (11-9-1) 3-1 in OCC-Buckeye play Oct. 3. They are in the regional final for the second consecutive year and sixth time in school history.
“They always play us hard,” D’Auteuil said. “They played us hard in the regular season. I think it was 1-1 with 15 minutes left. They don’t back down from us. I think from the perspective of them knowing us – that was a little bit of a challenge. But getting that goal in the first half (tonight) was crucial.”
Next up, Liberty meets Worthington Kilbourne for a regional championship Saturday at a site and time to be announced.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at [email protected]