Boys soccer: Ottoville falls in Division III state semifinals

CLYDE — The Ottovlle Big Green boys soccer team found itself in a familiar place Wednesday night at Clyde High School where last week it defeated Kidron Christian to get to the state semifinals.

The Big Green returned to the home of the Fliers to face the Andrews Osborn Academy Phoenix.

AOA came into the contest outscoring its opponents in the regional tournament 9-2. Ottoville had the daunting task of keeping the high-scoring Phoenix off the board. Despite a valiant effort on the part of the Big Green against a team made up of international students, the season came to an end as the Phoenix came away with a 1-0 victory.

The Big Green were reserved to playing aggressive defense for the better part of the first half. Ottoville held the speedy Pheonix at bay for the most part until AOA broke through off its second free kick of the first half. Inaki Pinto sent one into the box and missed the mark, but Lucas Garcia delivered off the rebound and just past Ottoville keeper Carson Hilvers to score the lone goal of the match with 10:31 left in the first half.

The Phoenix pummeled the Ottoville goal in the first half. AOA had four corner kicks in the first 40 while sending a plethora of shots toward Hilvers, but a combination of the Big Green keeper and Ottoville defense held to just the lone goal.

The second half was much like the first with the AOA aggressiveness keeping Ottoville chasing, but the defense continued to hold.

The Big Green had a few opportunities in the second half as the intensity picked up midway into the half with three yellow cards being issued AOA.

The Phoenix continued to pound away at the Ottoville keeper, but Hilvers stayed true and did not allow another goal.

Dave Boninsegna wrote this story for Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.