BELLBROOK — Mason High School will remain undefeated in its bid for OHSAA greatness. The Cincinnati-area team challenged the Carroll Boys soccer team and won in a dramatic and freezing Division I District final on Thursday. Mason started the soggy match with an early and significant lead, before Carroll put themselves on the board with an impressive comeback. Rain and cold would not stop players on both teams from playing an aggressive game that came to a dramatic conclusion in double overtime. Mason’s golden goal earned them the title of District Champion with a score of 4-3. The Comets will move on to play Centerville in the regional semifinals.
Ten minutes in, senior Max Brogan scored Mason’s first goal. Mason would score again with 19:05 on the clock on a penalty kick taken by senior Austin Erickson.
Under the five-minute mark, Mason further extended their first-half lead on a goal by junior Kevin Ren. Ren powered up the middle of the field and slammed the ball home.
Carroll, however, would not go quietly into that good night. Once the Patriots have possession of the ball, their strength lies in establishing a solid passing network of offensive players. Senior Conner Bailey netted Carroll’s first goal on a shot from right field, supported by a team that wove the ball around Mason’s defenders.
Mason led Carroll 3-1 at the half.
Whatever sluggishness Carroll may have shown in the first half was promptly shaken off in the second. Junior Ryan Donohue sent the ball sailing over the keeper’s hands after fifteen minutes of second half play. Not to be deterred, senior Daniel Irumva scored with a well-placed header off of a corner kick by Bailey. With 22 minutes remaining in the half, Carroll tied Mason 3-3.
Despite several shots on goal by both teams, neither was able to find the back of the net during the first overtime period. In second overtime, the Patriots’ night almost came to an end but for a spectacular save by Carroll keeper junior Joey Schrand.
However, Mason was able to clinch the win in the final minutes of second overtime. Senior Sam McKee put on a burst of speed to drive the ball up left field, passing to senior Jacob Beauchot. Beauchot got the ball around the Carroll defender, and passed the ball to Kevin Ren, who buried it in the net.
Carroll players were visibly crushed. The boys soccer team has made it to the district finals for each of the past 4 years, and each year have been stopped short of the title. Coach Scott Molfenter said it was a rough way for his players to end their season.
“Our kids showed a lot of heart,” he said. “I feel for our seniors. They had a great career. It’s a tough way for these guys to go out, but I tell you what, they did a great job.”
Despite the defeat, challenging the largest public school in the state all the way to double overtime is nothing to sniff at.
“Not at all,” Molfenter said. “I take nothing away from Mason, they’re a very good team. It didn’t fall for us tonight, but I couldn’t be more proud of the guys.”
Reach London Bishop at (937) 502-4532
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