Junior Jared Kass keeps ball in play. (Photo by Liesel Goldfarb’22/Media. Edited by Andrew Barren’22/Media editor)
The Columbus Academy boys soccer team ventured to Westerville Central High School on Wednesday, October 30, to take on rival Bexley in the regional semi-final matchup.
The game had a slow start, with neither team getting many good looks at the goal. It remained a back and forth affair for the rest of the first half.
As the second half began, more fans and rain poured into the stands. About ten minutes into the half, an opportunity came for the Vikes as striker Blake Chiovaro’20 got in front of the defense and drew a penalty on Bexley’s goalie, giving CA a penalty kick and a chance to take the lead and up the momentum. Senior Sam Massick lined up the kick and faked out the goalie, sending the ball into the back of the net and giving the Vikings a 1-0 lead.
The pace of the second half was set, and the Vikes rode this force and made a few more shots but failed to convert. Bexley did the same, and the teams continued to go back and forth. Bexley got its best opportunity of the night after a Viking defender kicked out by a ball, setting up a corner kick with 20 minutes left in the game. Bexley placed a nice ball in the mix in front of the goal, and a Lion striker headed it in the corner of the goal to tie the game.
With both student sections packed, the last twenty minutes was a chippy venture, with all players getting into it. The back and forth match kept up a similar feel until the Vikes began a run with 3 minutes left. Freshman Leo Kass dribbled around a few defenders in the midfield before delivering a beautiful pass to Sam Massick through two defenders, allowing Massick to use his game-changing speed to beat three Bexley players in a sprint to the ball and get a shot just around the goalie, giving the Vikes a 2-1 victory and a trip to the regional final.
The Vikes geared up for a long drive to Coshocton on Saturday, November 2, for the regional final game against Millersburg West Holmes.
Academy set the tone early, with Leo Kass’s huge week continuing with a goal early in the first half. The Vikes never looked back, dominating defensively with the help of captains Charlie Mueller’20 and Jared Kass’21, keeping the score 1-0 at the half.
Massick scored another goal ten minutes into the second half, sealing the game and a spot in the state final four.
The Vikes play in the state semifinal game on Wednesday, November 6, against Tippecanoe at London High School. If CA wins, our boys will advance to the state final game on Saturday, November 9, at Mapfre Stadium.