blast into state final-four
By Matt Pawlikowski
Published Nov. 8, 2006
2001 Bay soccer team was one of the best in school history. Top-ranked
in the state, they were sent home packing during regional play by
a team from Lima.
Saturday in Lexington, would it be a case of deja vu for the 2006
Rockets? That’s because for the first time since that juncture,
a Bay team had a chance to avenge that loss, with the outcome once
again dictating a shot at the state final four.
It was a scenario
no one wanted to see happen again, especially the captains from
that 2001 team, who paid a visit to the team on Friday.
from that team came to our team meeting, and we had eight e-mails
from the 14 seniors that year expressing thoughts to the team,’’
said Bay coach Bob Dougherty. “We call them “ghosts” or legends
of Bay soccer, and they all talked to the team for a few minutes.”
said must have worked. Faced with a shot at overtime or a possible
shootout against a Lima Shawnee team that had reeled off 18 wins
in row, John Hronek decided to change that course.
With just 2:20
left in the game, Hronek, who is Bay’s top scorer this year, with
13 goals, took a rebound off of Aaron Adkins’ kick and found nothing
but net. It put Bay up 1-0, which was the final.
“We knew that
their goalie had a tendency to drop balls a lot,’’ Dougherty said.
“And in the first half he dropped two. We took a shot from the top
of the box, and the goalie dropped it, and John hit it hard.”
That set the
25 or so Bay soccer alumni, including many from that 2001 team,
Indians’ goalie Greg Andes several times in the first ten minutes,
but was not able to score. Despite dominating the first half,
the Rockets could not finish and went into halftime tied 0-0.
“It was the
best play we’ve seen from our boys, dating back to the Vermilion
game,’’ said Dougherty. “As the game went along we were impressed
with the play of their players in the back. They play a flat back
four, which is something you don’t see in high school a lot.
We knew we had to adjust, and we isolated two of the guys.”
worked, as Bay reeled off 17 shots in the second half, with nine
on the frame. In all the Rockets got off 22 shots, with 12 of them
on goal. Lima Shawnee was only able to muster five shots, with just
three on goal.
got his 10th shutout of the year in goal, and with the victory dropped
his goals-against average to an incredible 0.45 on the year.
With the win,
Bay improves its season slate to 20-1-0, and advanced to the “Final
4,” the seventh time since 1990 that a Bay squad has done so. They
earned a match-up with No. 1-ranked Walsh. The game was played after
West Life deadlines.
“Most of these
kids have been playing together since they were four years old.
They know the tradition of our program, so even though we graduated
a great deal of quality kids from last year’s state runner up team,
we figured we would be Ok,’’ said Dougherty. “This has been exciting
to say the least. We know Walsh is very talented, so it will be
fun to play. We’ll have a lot of support, and if we can frustrate
them, and play hard, we’ll be OK.”