LIMA — Finally.
After nearly 84 minutes of play, the ball found the back of the net.
Ottawa-Glandorf’s Matthew (Chewie) Kaufman knocked home a shot from 15 yards out to lift the Titans to a 1-0 overtime victory over Bath in the Division II boys soccer regional semifinals Wednesday at Lima Stadium. The game was played on a cold, misty, rainy night.
It marks the second straight year the Titans have reached the regional finals.
Both teams had their chances to crack the net, but Bath’s goalkeeper Cole Chambers made four standout saves, while O-G goalkeeper Tyler Ellerbrock had six saves on the night.
Then, at the 11:07 mark of the first overtime period. O-G’s T.J. Metzger launched a pass into the 18-yard box. The ball landed near the body of O-G’s Cody Bockrath, but it was pounced on by keeper Chambers. But the wet ball slipped away from Chambers and spun over to Kaufman, who slammed it home in the lower-left corner of the net.
“T.J. played it in and Cody put himself in position to get in the way of the keeper and the keeper kind of bobbled it,” Kaufman said. “It came right to me and I put it in the back of the net.
“I missed a goal about three minutes before and I said, ‘I have to get one,’ but my teammates picked me up and we finally got one.”
O-G (18-1) advances to the regional championship game against today’s Port Clinton/Bay Village Bay winner at noon Saturday at a site to be named. Bath ends its season 14-5-1.
“The seniors kind of willed themselves to keep attacking (in overtime), even though we were going against the wind, and they did it,” O-G coach Mike Weihrauch said. … “I thought we had more of the dangerous opportunities throughout the night and finally our perseverance paid off and Chewie knocked that one home and now we can go in where it’s warm.”
O-G won the regular-season match between the two Western Buckeye League teams, 1-0.
And this game was another back-and-forth contest. O-G outshot Bath 13-9, with Kaufman getting seven shots and Metzger taking three.
For Bath, Logan Rockhold paced the offense with four shots.
Both defenses were strong as well, led by O-G sweeper Jon Eiden and Bath center defender Caleb Norton.
Bath did lose center midfielder Michael Carman in the first half.
“That really hurt us,” Bath coach Wes Mason said. “It looked like it might be a shoulder injury. It was unfortunate, but it was a great battle.”
The two biggest saves of the game came by Bath’s Chambers and both were in the second half.
With 35 minutes to go, Metzger’s shot from 25-yards out hit the crossbar and dropped in front of the net. Nate Toumazos wound up with a rebound shot, but Chambers made a sprawling save at the left post.
Then Kaufman fired a line drive at the net, but again Chambers was there with a diving save.
“It can get discouraging,” Kaufman said. “You’re putting up good shots and with a goalie as good as Cole, he’s going to stop most of those and you just have to keep shooting and eventually one of those is going to go in.”
Mason said, “Cole played an amazing game.”
Playing on turf in windy, rainy conditions was an adventure for both teams.
“This turf is probably twice as fast as Wapak’s, then you add rain on top of that, then you add cold and people aren’t moving as fast and it’s hard to get to the ball,” Kaufman said.