Despite 15 shots in nearly 35 minutes of play, the Bloom-Carroll boys soccer team had failed to find the back of the net and remained tied with Granville Christian (11-3-4) in their second-round Division III district tournament game Friday.
“I think we were starting to press a little bit, one of those deals of, ‘Why haven’t we scored yet?'” assistant coach Nathan Johnson said.
With five minutes and one second left in the first half, the Bulldogs’ (13-3-2) luck changed. Senior Logan Patino took a shot from left of the goal that hit off the hands of the Lions’ goalkeeper. Junior Ethan Price was there to connect with the rebound and open the scoring. That’s all Bloom-Carroll would need as they shut out the Lions to earn a 3-0 victory through hard rain.
“I think it’s unfortunate that that happened to their keeper. In conditions like that, that’s just soccer,” Johnson said. “We had been telling them to follow-up every shot and someone was there to follow-up and we were rewarded for it.”
An exchange just before the goal foreshadowed the weather’s impact on the night. With just over nine minutes left in the half, the Lions got one of their few chances on a throw-in into the box. Caleb Patton put the shot on goal which briefly slipped through Kolin Petty’s hands before he was able to make the save. Moments later a shot by Bulldogs’ slipped through goalkeeper Luke Roberts’ hands before he was able to fall on the ball.
Given the conditions, Johnson felt the one goal would not be enough.
“When it’s wet like this it only takes one ball slipping through and it’s one-to-one, so we knew we needed to get more than just the one,” he said.
The Bulldogs controlled possession throughout most of the game, registering 40 shots, 20 on goal, compared to the Lions’ six shots, three of which were on goal.
Despite the loss, Granville Christian coach Dave Geiss was happy with his team’s defensive play, especially Roberts, who registered 17 saves.
“We had a bend don’t break defense (and) Luke was a big plus in that whole defensive strategy,” he said. “He has incredible, uncanny instincts. He was able to save a lot of goals for us.”
Roberts was able to shine early in the second half as he turned away all of the Bulldog’s nine shots on goal in the first 15 minutes after the break. Four of those shots came from junior Thomas Robinson.
“Thomas Robinson just decided, ‘I’m going to take it myself and see how many people I can beat,'” Johnson said. “We are all about team ball but when you have a special player like that sometimes he’ll put the team on his back and just go at them. It’s fun to watch when he does that.”
Robinson finally connected on a shot with just under 25 minutes remaining. After a nice move from right to left inside the box, the junior swung with his left foot and buried the ball into the lower right corner of the net.
“He’s a very talented guy, very aggressive,” Geiss said of Robinson. “We shut him down in the first half and actually had him covered well on that second goal but he was able to get a touch off with authority and he kept it low. It was a quality shot.”
The Bulldogs’ finished off the scoring when freshman McCoy Patino scored with just under six minutes remaining.
The victory advances Bloom-Carroll to the district semifinals where they will face the winner of Saturday’s game between Columbus Tree of life and Delaware Christian School. The Bulldogs will host the semifinal game on Wednesday.