ASHLAND – Bay Village Bay withstood an early St. Marys flurry.
From there, Bay took control.
Bay posted a 3-0 victory over St. Marys in the Division II boys soccer regional championship game Saturday at Ashland High School.
St. Marys had two quality shots early in the first half, including one that rang off the crossbar. When both were denied the back of the net, Bay took a breath and regrouped.
“Our game plan was to try to catch them early with our speed, and it worked,” St. Marys coach Dave Ring said. “Then, (Zach) Lemmerman missed a breakaway. We had our opportunities and needed those two goals bad to put them off our pace. Once they got into a rhythm, they were definitely difficult.”
Bay (15-1-5) advances to the state semifinals against Revere at 7 p.m. Wednesday at a site to be named. Western Buckeye League champion St. Marys ends the year 16-2-3.
Bay’s Alex Furst made it 1-0 when he drove home a high-rising shot from 15-yards out with 9:19 left in the first half. The ball landed close to his feet after St. Marys goalkeeper Stuart Yahl knocked a loose ball out.
The goal broke the string of 12 straight games in which St. Marys hadn’t allowed a goal.
Bay outshot St. Marys 21-4, including 13-0 in the second half.
Bay goalkeeper Colin Southerington had one save for the shutout. Yahl had four saves, while Kaleb Fenwick-Miller ended up with seven saves.
Yahl left the game for good late in the first half trailing 2-0 when he caught a knee in the head. Fenwick-Miller played in the net the rest of the way.
“He most likely has a concussion,” Ring said. “I’m not sure when it took place.”
Bay pushed the margin to 2-0 off a set throw-in. Bay’s Alec White made the throw into the box and Matt Koch just got his foot on the shot and deflected it into the net from 6-yards out. That came with 5:57 left in the first half.
St. Marys had two scoring chances in the first half, including freshman Lemmerman hammering a breakaway shot off the crossbar at the 13:56 mark.
A few minutes into the game, St. Marys’ Matt Dine banged a loose ball at Southerington, who gobbled it up.
“We were trying to settle down, and we get caught with a bad touch that went across our net,” Bay coach Robert Dougherty said. “It could have been a dramatically different game if they went up early. We know that.
“In the end, we knew we had enough pressure and we had enough to put this through. We got the two (goals) and the second half it was a matter of finishing it off. St. Marys worked their tail off.”
In the second half, Bay controlled the midfield and continued to pass the ball around the 18-yard box looking for a shot.
“It was their patience,” Ring said of what impressed him about Bay. “They play a deliberate style that we’re not used to seeing.”
Bay pushed the margin to 3-0 on a perfect settle, turn and fire shot from 8-yards out by Logan Schmit. His shot found the upper-left corner of the net to make it 3-0 with 17:04 left in the match.
It was St. Marys’ first regional for boys soccer.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the program,” Ring said. “For this team to come this far in 18 years in a football town like St. Marys, it’s fantastic. It’s a matter of keep building.”