When sixth-seeded North Olmsted played host to 11th-seed John Marshall on Oct. 16, the Eagles had to deal with not only the speed of the Lawyers, but a torrential downpour.
Those factors weren’t enough to stop North Olmsted or midfielder Owen Reyes in a 7-0 Sectional semifinal victory. The sophomore scored a hat trick with goals in the sixth, 54th and 60th minutes. Reyes has scored 12 goals this season.
“I was focused throughout the whole day,” Reyes said. “I was just feeling good. Getting the first goal kinda shuts down the (other) team when you get it early. It gives us confidence to go in and get the ball more.”
North Olmsted lost to Southwestern Conference foe, third-seed Avon Lake in the Sectional final.
Also scoring goals against the Lawyers were junior Aidan Fox (21st minute), sophomore Ryan Sanborn (42nd) and junior John Musial (71st). In the eighth minute, an attempted clearance by the Lawyers took a bad bounce and rolled into the net for an own goal.
Eagles coach Chris Marsh said he was pleased with how his team adapted to the bad weather and quick opponents. North Olmsted (11-4-2) had a 13-6 shot lead (10-3 on goal) and had nine corners to John Marshall’s two.
“It breeds confidence early in the game when you score within the first 10 minutes,” Marsh said. “Owen is such a charismatic player. The last time we had a center midfielder who scored in double-digits; that goes back aways. That takes a little pressure off of our forwards.”
The Eagles’ went into halftime with a 3-0 lead and the momentum. Coming out in the fourth, nothing changed as it took Sanborn, who also assisted on Reyes’ first goal, less than two minutes to score.
“I like getting on the end line, putting balls in, finding other people and not always being selfish,” Sanborn said. “Sometimes you put the ball into the back of the net, too.”
John Marshall rarely challenged keepers Even Clere (two saves) in the first half and Gannon Graf (no saves) in the second.
“We were very fortunate that we watched (John Marshall) play because they would have surprised us. This is a much, much better John Marshall team than in years past,” Marsh said. “We did not take them lightly. We need(ed) to show up, we need(ed) to put some balls in the net early and fortunately, we did do that. So it took a little of the wind out of their sails.”
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