By Michael Rich
Ryan Krewson scored a first-half goal, Jack Brooks tied it back up with a penalty kick in the second half and Olentangy Orange and Delaware Hayes played to a 1-1 tie in OCC-Capital Division boys soccer action on Monday night at Gauthier Stadium.
Jack McKee corralled a loose ball just outside the box and tapped it to Krewson, who lasered a shot to the left corner of the net to give the Pacers a 1-0 lead just three minutes and 56 seconds into the game. Krewson took his shot from the center of the goal, just outside the box.
“(Krewson) is a player that is completely committed to the team and how we want to play, and I think he’s being rewarded for his drive,” Pacers coach Joshua Diehl said.
Brooks, who injured his leg in the first half, beat the Hayes goalie right on a penalty kick, a result of a push in the back in the box, to tie the score almost 17 minutes into the second half.
“It felt like we should have won,” Diehl said. “It doesn’t intimidate us just because they’re very good. We feel like we’re ready to take that next step and beat teams like this … (Orange) is a really good team.
“I think the boys are happy because I know we played the way we wanted to and didn’t let Orange play the way they wanted to,” Diehl continued. “From a pride aspect, we’re really happy with that.”
If Orange (1-2-5, 1-0-3) had been treading water for most the year, Hayes (4-4-1, 1-2-1) was below sea level. After a disappointing 2-0 loss to Marysville, the Pacer had fallen to 2-4 on the year and Diehl said it had been “emotionally exhausting” to his players at that point.
Diehl’s challenge was to keep the team from shutting down.
“There was a sense of frustration,” he said. “(Frustration) breeds success and I’m really happy with the boys, the way they channeled and used that. I think kids that are weaker would fold.”
Hayes channeled that frustration positively and responded with a two-game winning streak, knocking off Grove City last Tuesday before picking up a key conference win at New Albany on Thursday.
“The New Albany game was a breakthrough,” Diehl said. “We talked about that (game) being an assessment. We’re going to empty our pockets, we’re going to put everything we have on the table and just see how good we are. When they saw and felt that they could play at that level, it’s built a lot of confidence.”
The Pioneers, meanwhile, are still having trouble getting over the hump. With more ties than decisions, they can see the top of mountain.
Coach Scott Bryant said that he was looking for somebody to step up after battling district-rival Olentangy to a scoreless draw on Sept. 8.
Orange responded with a 1-0 loss to St. Charles, but followed with a solid week coming in, picking up its first conference win over Mount Vernon on Thursday before tying district-rival and state-ranked Liberty 2-2 on Saturday.
“They brought their A-game and played really well (against Liberty),” he said. “It’s tough to bring that type of emotion to another game that’s not a rivalry game and they need to match that. They weren’t able to do that tonight until the last 15, 20 minutes of the game.
“We’re still looking for someone to take control of this team and the coaches need to a better job of doing that from the sideline and practice,” Bryant added.
Both teams are off until Saturday. The Pioneers play Westerville South at home at 1 p.m. The game was originally scheduled on Sept. 15, but was cancelled because of weather.
Hayes begins a four-game road trip at Reynoldsberg with kickoff set for 2:45 p.m. Monday’s game capped a string where the Pacers had played six of eight at home.
Liberty posted an impressive round of golf Monday, winning the OCC Shootout at Moundbuilders with a combined 303.
Cameron McCloskey led the Patriots with a 74 while Kyle Mitchell and Trey Rath carded 75s. Ronnie Foth and Jacob Hickman also contributed, firing respective rounds of 79 and 81.
Olentangy finished fourth with a 315, Orange was fifth with a 317, Big Walnut finished 13th thanks to its 337 and Hayes finished 14th with a 343.
The Braves were led by Matthew Homza’s 75, Alex Cabungcal paced the Pioneers with a 74, Henry von Hollen led the Golden Eagles with an 80 while Grant Godfrey shot a team-best 80 for the Pacers.
Hayes swept the doubles action and notched a win at first singles to secure a 3-2 non-league win over visiting Marysville Monday in Delaware.
Pacer winners included Anna Adams at first singles (6-3, 7-5), Kelsey Knodell and Kara Wegmiller at first doubles (6-4, 7-5) and Emily Miklas and Jillian Goulet at second doubles (7-6, 7-5).
Liberty cruised past visiting Thomas Worthington Monday, winning by scores of 25-8, 25-10 and 25-12.
Stat leaders included Shelby Stewart, who finished with seven kills and six blocks; Lauren Hofer, who collected three aces to go with a team-best six digs; and Maddie Fogg, who finished with 17 assists in the win.
Also: Orange 3, Worthington Kilbourne 1.
Big Walnut picked up an impressive OCC-Capital Division win Monday in Sunbury, rolling past visiting Mount Vernon 6-1.
Bailey Bodker finished with two of the Golden Eagle goals while Grace Bodker, Kayle Tanner, Adelee Gartner and Hunter Maxeiner all had one apiece.
Jordan Foxworthy and Colleen White shared time in the BW goal, each finishing with two saves.
Olentangy 1, New Albany 0
Erin Wilt scored off a feed from Emerson Woerner as the Braves nabbed a 1-0 OCC-Capital Division win over the Eagles Monday in New Albany.
Kelsey Hill finished with seven saves in the Olentangy goal.
Liberty 7, Westland 0.
Liberty 8, Dublin Coffman 0.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.