BW nips Blue Aces 2-1 in OT, advance to DII District finals
News Staff Reports
In what turned out to be a battle in almost every sense of the word, Big Walnut outlasted visiting Granville in a Division II District semifinal Tuesday in Sunbury, notching a 2–1 overtime win.
With the score knotted 1-all after 80 minutes of physical play, Golden Eagle midfielder Adam Carifa finally ended things five minutes into the extra session. Junior midfielder Nick Herbert sent a ball over the top of Granville’s back line and, when Carifa caught up to it, the sophomore hammered a volley from just outside the box and into the back of the net.
The tally ended a game that saw four players exit early with cards — two for Big Walnut and another two for Granville.
“I’m still in shock,” Golden Eagle head coach Brett Weiss said after the contest. “Neither myself nor the Granville coach wanted our seniors to go out that way, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t really proud of our guys … they did a lot of growing up tonight.”
After controlling things at the start, Big Walnut, the No. 7 seed, saw ninth-seeded Granville score the game’s first goal after a cross eluded a slew of Golden Eagle defenders before being sent into the goal 10 minutes into the action.
Big Walnut got even eight minutes later, though. After an Eagle corner kick resulted in a near miss, Sophomore midfielder Noah Gibson collected the clearance and fired a shot from 30 yards away — a shot that knuckled a bit before slipping past the Granville goalie.
The two teams traded blows for the rest of the half and the entire second half before, with just nine players on the field per side, Carifa sent the Golden Eagles into Saturday’s district final.
BIG WALNUT 6, HAMILTON TWP. 1 —To say Big Walnut’s Austin Foor is on a tear would be an understatement.
The Golden Eagles’ senior forward stole the show last Thursday (October 18) night, scoring five goals to lift seventh-seeded Big Walnut to a 6–1 Central District Division II Sectional final decision over host Hamilton Township.
Foor scored three of his goals in the first half, giving Big Walnut a 3–1 edge at the break. He came back to score two in the second half. Sophomore midfielder Adam Carifa also scored in the final half for the 5-goal margin of victory over the sixth-seeded Rangers.
Foor, with 9 goals in two postseason outings, picked up where he left off last Tuesday (October 16) night when he scored four goals to lead the Golden Eagles to a 5–1 Division II Central District Sectional Semifinal victory over visiting Whitehall at Golden Eagle Soccer Stadium.
Big Walnut will play the winner of the second-seeded Watterson and tenth-seeded Licking Hgts. winner Saturday at 4 p.m. at Westerville Central for a District title.