Playing a man down for most of the game, the Olentangy Liberty boys soccer team made plays when it mattered most en route to a 2-0 Division I district semifinal win over rival Olentangy Orange Wednesday in Powell.
Ludwig Conrad scored the game-deciding goal with 16 minutes left and Ash Rajmahon added an insurance goal with seven minutes to go.
“We made some adjustments at halftime and I’m really happy with the fight the kids showed tonight,” Liberty coach Marc D’Auteuil said. “We haven’t been tested as much as I would’ve liked this season even though we played a tough schedule, but this we a test. Give Orange credit … those kids worked their tails.”
Next up, top-seeded Liberty will take on Westerville South – a team it beat on the way to an OCC-Buckeye Division championship – in Saturday’s district final at a time and place to be determined.
Olentangy 1, Pickerington North 0
Drew Beck found the back of the net for what proved to be the only goal the eighth-seeded Braves would need to knock off the ninth-seeded Panthers in Wednesday’s Division I district semifinal in Lewis Center.
Beck scored midway though the first half off a long throw-in from Ryan Renner. The ball bounced around in the box and Beck poked it in.
“We did really well at keeping their forwards at bay and capitalized on our opportunity,” Olentangy coach Pat Shick said. “We also leaned really hard on our defensive organization. We stayed very organized and controlled.“
The win sets up a showdown against third-seeded Dublin Jerome in Saturday’s district final at a time and place to be determined.
Eighth-seeded Olentangy outlasted sixth-seeded Worthington Kilbourne 27-25 in the first set of Wednesday’s Division I district semifinal at Franklin Heights High School and never looked back.
The Braves won the second and third sets by respective scores of 25-19 and 25-20 to punch a ticket to Saturday’s district final against third-seeded DeSales.
“Our serving and blocking were really strong tonight,” Olentangy coach Sarah Wilson said.
The Braves were balanced, too, getting key contributions from a variety of players.
Emily Margolies finished with six kills and six blocks, Maggie Samijlenko chipped in a team-best 17 assists to go with four aces, Madyson Chitty had 22 digs, Olivia Margolies finished with 11 digs, 12 kills and four blocks and Maris Kaiser had four kills and five block assists in the win.