Let\’s Go Bulldogs!
So my high school\’s boys soccer team won the state championship last Friday – which was pretty cool to see. It\’s the first state title by any boys sport in school history (the girls won the state volleyball title a few years back).
I got to the game late after putting Xavier down for the night – late enough that I got into the stadium for free (bonus!). I\’d hoped to catch the second half, but got there with about 20 minutes left in regulation with the score 0-0. Stow\’s record going in was 20-0-2, the same as their opponent (Fairfield, from Cincinnati). Despite some decent chances, the game went into 2 periods of \”sudden victory\” overtime.
Quick aside – I hate the term \”sudden victory\”. Use \”golden goal\” if you want, but \”sudden victory\” sounds cheesy – and we all know it\’s really \”sudden death\”.
Fairfield should have won the game in overtime, they had the best chance I saw when Stow\’s normally solid sweeper lost his footing at the top of the box and let one of their midfielders past him with an open look at goal from a dozen yards out. The kid (a sophomore) hesitated, though, and didn\’t end up getting a shot off until there was a crowd of players around him.
Inevitably, the game ended in penalties – which is a horrible way to decide a soccer game at any level. Fairfield\’s first shooter missed wide right, while Stow converted their first four shots. On Fairfield\’s fifth attempt, which they had to make to stay alive, Stow\’s goalkeeper dove left and snagged the ball just inside the lower post – and took off flying toward midfield, screaming his head off. The rest of the players chased him down, but didn\’t catch him until he\’d ran almost a complete loop around the field and ended up in front of the Stow student section – which was predictably exploding with cheers.
Excellent job, Stow – I\’m glad I was able to make it there for the game. My dad and sister even came down for the game, although my brother (who actually played varsity when he was in high school) couldn\’t.
Now, I just have to remember if the current coach (Kyle Kosmala) is somebody I went to school with – the name is familiar, but I haven\’t pulled out my yearbook to check for sure. Any of you other alums recognize the name?
Stow wins state shootout (Akron Beacon Journal)
Stow ekes out victory (Columbus Dispatch)
Fairfield stopped just short of title (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Title first (Cleveland Plain Dealer)