XENIA — After a scoreless first half, defending Division II state champion Alter needed a perfect shot to escape Doug Adams Stadium with a 2-1 win Oct. 24 over Bellbrook in the district semifinals.
The third-seeded Golden Eagles (11-6-1) had just evened the contest up on Adam Galle’s score off a direct kick by Gavin Ferrin with just over 10 minutes left to play.
But just 19 seconds later, on Alter’s very next possession after the Bellbrook score, Alter junior midfielder Aidan Petrello fired a high-arching shot from about 20 yards out that dropped into the upper right corner for ultimately the winning goal.
“Every time we play them, it’s always the same kind of a game. And we play a heckuva ballgame. They gave us everything they had; we gave everything we had. And somehow Petrello hit that gorgeous shot, that I didn’t know was a shot. And it went in after they tied it up, said Alter coach Bob “Wiz” Ellis. ”It’s a nice feeling to win this. I know Bellbrook is very very sad. If I was on the other end, I’d be sad too. But I think it’s just two very good teams matching up here in the district semis, just battling it out.”
Golden Eagles coach Kevin Terrell was consoling his players in a locker room underneath Doug Adams Stadium. He had assistant Marc DeZarn talk to the media.
“We played them earlier in the year and lost 3-1, but we came out and played much better against them in this game,” DeZarn said. “We had just a couple mistakes in the second half, and that’s the difference when you play a good team like Alter.”
DeZarn said the team’s best player, Gavin Ferrin, had broke his wrist Oct. 21 in the district quarterfinals against Valley View and that hurt the team. Ferrin played Tuesday night, but couldn’t launch his sideline throw-ins as far with the injury. Senior forward Michael Owusu was also injured in the second half against Alter.
“We were unlucky in that Alter caught us offline on that last goal,” DeZarn said.
Petrello earned the assist on the Knights’ first goal of the night, too. He kicked the corner kick that was headed in by Ty Borton in the 42nd minute.
Bellbrook loses seniors Owusu, Ferrin, Khaled Shaltaf and Ryan Hunt with the loss, but 16 other members of the Golden Eagles roster should be back next season. The team won the Southwestern Buckeye League’s Southwestern Division title.
Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North champion Alter (13-2-3) takes on Cincinnati Indian Hill for the district championship. Indian Hill defeated Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, 4-0, to advance.
That match will be held Saturday, Oct. 28 at Lakota East High School in Liberty Township.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.