By John Bombatch
CENTERVILLE — In a tightly contested battle between a pair of Greater Catholic League rivals, Carroll’s Cameron Najarian poked in the only score of the match to earn his team a bit of revenge and a 1-0 win over Kettering Alter in the Division II regional semifinal game, Wednesday at Centerville Soccer Stadium.
Alter defeated Carroll, 2-0, earlier this season to eventually earn the GCL North title, so Wednesday’s match was a chance for the Pats to make up for that September blemish.
“It’s always a great match when we play Alter. They’re so good and they’re such a class program. This felt good,” Carroll coach Scott Molfenter said. “They got us earlier this year, and took the league title away from us. We had to beat a really good team.”
So was revenge a part of the game strategy at all?
“Absolutely! When you lose to a good team, you always want to see that team a second time. But I was really proud of our guys. They stepped up and played a nice game tonight,” Molfenter added.
With 13:24 left to play in the contest, co-captain David Austria had the ball deep into the left corner of the Alter Knights’ side of the field. He quickly fired off a left-to-right pass to Najarian who was in the middle of the field. The junior forward bashed the shot into the left side of the Knight goal for the score.
“We just kinda found a second wind in the second half,” Najarian said. “We came together as a team and found a way to win this. … It was a great ball from Dave Austria. It went straight to my feet and, I dunno. It just happened.”
With the win, Carroll (17-4) will now face Cincinnati Wyoming (16-3-2) in the regional title match. The Cowboys defeated Columbus Hartley 1-0 in double overtime, Wednesday night at Wright State University.
The regional final match is scheduled for noon on Saturday at a neutral field still yet to be determined.
“We expected a good match. We had a good one when we played them the first time,” said Alter coach Bob “Wiz” Ellis. “We had a couple good opportunities, but we just couldn’t finish. They finished one good one that they had, and that was the difference.
“I figured it was going to be decided by one good one either way, I just hoped that we’d get the one. … Our boys had a nice year and I told them to keep their heads up and keep working. This is just a tough loss to take.”
Greater Catholic League North Division champ Alter ends its season with a 16-3-1 record.
In other matches involving area schools, Cincinnati Moeller needed double overtime to defeat Beavercreek, 2-1 at Monroe High School. Jordan Morales scored the Beavers’ lone goal in the first half. Moeller scored the winner with 2:26 left in the overtime period.
Greeneview was at Lebanon Middle School to face top-ranked Cincinnati Summit Country Day in a Division III regional semi. Summit Country Day won the match, 6-0.