After neither team was able to find the back of the net through 80 minutes of regulation, it took less than three for host Thomas Worthington to hammer home a golden goal in overtime and top Olentangy Berlin 1-0 in Wednesday’s Division I regional semifinal.
Wyatt Wilson started the game-winning sequence with a through ball to Cameron McIntosh, who worked his way deep into the box. Berlin keeper Connor Sexton charged out of the net, cutting off his shooting angle, but McIntosh found a cutting Matias Barinas, who deposited the cross into an empty net for the win with 12:28 left in OT.
The Bears had a couple chances of their own late in regulation, and really controlled things toward the end of the second half, but couldn’t crack the Cardinals’ back line.
Lincoln Ulrich fired a throw-in to Luke Butzier in the box with 3:55 to go, but Butzier’s header sailed just wide. A minute or so later, Mike Lapid looked poised to make a play as the clock ticked down, but was tackled in the box. No foul was called on the play, though, and the ball rolled over the end line for a Thomas Worthington goal kick.
After a scoreless first half, both teams started fast in the second. Thomas’ McIntosh earned a free kick deep in the Berlin end, but the Bears punched it out and took off in transition. Kaden Foreman found a streaking Austin Corley near midfield, and Corley dribbled all the way into the Cardinals’ end before Landon LaPrad poked the ball away before he could get a shot off.
A few minutes later, Mason Morris got a good look from distance, but his shot sailed wide as things remained scoreless with 33:34 to play.
The loss ends what was a stellar season for Berlin. The Bears finished 15-3-2 and won their first district title in program history.
Kyle Rinehart and Landon Kuhn nabbed first-team All-OCC honors, with Rinehart earning the conference’s Player of the Year award as well. Ryan Miller and Foreman were second-team picks, Morris was a special mention selection and Corley earned honorable mention honors. All six are seniors.
Next up, Thomas Worthington will host New Albany in a Division I regional final Saturday at 3 p.m.