Patriots clip Celtics to move on


Set to play New Albany in Saturday’s regional final

By Ben Stroup - [email protected]



Olentangy Liberty’s Johnny Stack (5) celebrates after scoring his second of two goals in Wednesday’s Division I regional semifinal against Dublin Jerome. The game was played at Westerville Central.

Olentangy Liberty’s Johnny Stack (5) celebrates after scoring his second of two goals in Wednesday’s Division I regional semifinal against Dublin Jerome. The game was played at Westerville Central.


Ben Stroup | The Gazette

Johnny Stack scored a pair of goals, one in each half, and his team needed them both as the Olentangy Liberty boys soccer team edged Dublin Jerome 2-1 in a Division I regional semifinal Wednesday night at Westerville Central.

The win avenged an 2-1 loss at the hands of the Celtics in the regular season … and punched a ticket to Saturday’s regional final against New Albany.

The Patriots were in attack mode early, getting decent looks off of a corner and then a throw-in, both well-placed in the box within the first 10 minutes of action. Neither connected, but the third time proved to be the charm as a free kick a few minutes later set the table for the game’s first goal.

After drawing a foul right outside the box, Aidan Gordon’s ensuing service toward the goal mouth was headed home by Stack to give Liberty a 1-0 lead with 29:39 left in the first half.

Jerome was quick to counter, earning a corner kick a few minutes later, but Adam Kirkbride’s header was scooped up by Patriot keeper Austin Bodem with relative ease. Bodem made a solid stop a few minutes later, too, plucking a long-range shot that looked destined for the upper corner of the net out of harm’s way with 17 minutes left in the first half.

Liberty nearly made it 2-0 on a pair of occasions, but Jerome escaped unscathed before scoring the equalizer just before halftime.

After the Patriots’ Aade Rajmahon got by the Celtic back line, his close-range poke with a defender on his hip beat Jerome keeper Ethan Woyton, but hit the crossbar. A shot by Carson Spencer a few minutes later sailed just high, too.

It was then, off the ensuing reset, Jerome struck seemingly out of nowhere. After managing next to nothing on the offensive end up to that point, the Celtics earned a corner kick … and made it count. The Patriots punched away the initial shot, but the rebound went right to Louis Roseberry, who buried a shot from just outside the top of the box to make it a 1-1 game with 2:24 to go in the first half.

Things stayed that way until the second, when Liberty scored a goal that looked a lot like its first — with Stack heading home a Gordon free kick from deep in enemy territory with 33:57 to play.

Jerome got a look or two down the stretch, but couldn’t convert as the Patriots held on.

Their date with the Eagles is slated to get underway Saturday at 12 p.m. in Marysville. The winner secures a spot in the state final four.

Olentangy Liberty’s Johnny Stack (5) celebrates after scoring his second of two goals in Wednesday’s Division I regional semifinal against Dublin Jerome. The game was played at Westerville Central.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2022/11/web1_goal-2.jpgOlentangy Liberty’s Johnny Stack (5) celebrates after scoring his second of two goals in Wednesday’s Division I regional semifinal against Dublin Jerome. The game was played at Westerville Central. Ben Stroup | The Gazette
Set to play New Albany in Saturday’s regional final

By Ben Stroup

[email protected]