Sixteenth-seeded Westerville Central scored early and very, very late to outlast the sixth-seeded Olentangy Orange boys soccer team in a Division I district semifinal Tuesday night in Lewis Center.
The Pioneers bounced back from the first. The second, though — a perfectly placed corner kick off the foot of Enrique Monzalvo, which bent around a sea of bodies in the box and slipped inside the far post with 4:23 left in the second sudden-death overtime — sent the Warhawks home happy.
Central opened the scoring summary with a goal in the first five minutes of action, taking advantage of an Orange turnover deep in its own end. Kyle Stewart collected a steal on the edge of the box and fired a laser at Pioneer keeper Aaron Kim, who stopped the initial shot, but couldn’t secure the rebound as Stewart collected his own miss and calmly deposited it into the back of the net.
Orange picked up the pace from there, but couldn’t cash in before the break. Zach Blendick and Ryan Borger had decent looks toward the end of the half, but Central’s Sam Rojanasakdakul was there for the save each time.
The Pioneers finally broke through midway through the second half. Jahred Ashmeade gained possession and ripped a rocket off the crossbar from about 20 yards out. The ball came down to a hard-charging Matthew Dorado, who one-touched to a streaking Blendick for the equalizer with 15:59 left in regulation.
The teams ended the second half knotted at one, and remained that way until the game-winner off the set piece in the second OT.
With the win, Central will take on host Olentangy Berlin in Saturday’s district final at a time to be announced.
Olentangy Berlin 3, Westerville North 0
The 15th-seeded Warriors held their own in the first half, but the fifth-seeded Bears broke things open in the second on the way to a Division I district semifinal win Tuesday night in Delaware.
Aiden Ackerman assisted on a pair of Mason Morris goals and Mike Lapid scored off a feed from Luke Butzier to smooth out the scoring summary.
Olentangy Liberty 1, Hilliard Darby 0
Jayson Castellanos cashed in on a header off a corner kick right before halftime to lead the third-seeded Patriots to a Division I district semifinal win over the visiting Panthers Tuesday night in Powell.
The Liberty defense took care of the rest. Andrew Bartosik finished with six saves en route to the shutout.
Next up, the Patriots will host fourth-seeded Pickerington North in Saturday’s district final at a time to be announced.
Also: Dublin Jerome 2, Big Walnut 0.
Olentangy Liberty def. Olentangy 19-25, 25-20, 25-18, 26-24 (Division I district semifinal).