Marysville’s Wyatt Griffith (3) finds himself between a rock and a hard place as several Olentangy Braves surround him. Marysville went on to lose the contest 2-0 on the road. View more photos and stories on marysvillejt.com.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Aleksei Pavloff)
As Marysville wraps up its regular season in boys soccer, the Monarchs fell to Olentangy on the road Tuesday evening.
The Braves notched a 2-0 win over their visitors, who are refocusing efforts to make a push in the postseason.
“You never want to lose and we were playing one of the better teams in central Ohio,” Marysville head coach Brent Harmanis said.
Olentangy is currently seeded fifth in the OHSAA Division I post-season bracket. Marysville is ranked 26th.
A cool night was perfect for a match that started heating up in the initial minutes of the first half.
For much of the initial portion of the half, both Monarchs and Braves alike were even when it came to time of possession in the opponent’s territory.
Getting off a few shots each, neither team was able to punch the ball in for a goal within the first half of play.
The second half was the breaking point for the Monarchs as the defensive scheme allowed two Olentangy goals.
Prior to the two scores, the Braves managed to get a close-proximity penalty shot attempt with no one in between an offensive Brave player and MHS keeper Grant Kaifas.
Winding up roughly 10 yards away, Kaifas managed to stop what would have been the go- ahead score.
In the 32-minute mark in the second half, Olentangy’s student section became bustling after the Braves notched the lead at 1-0.
Shortly after the first goal, the Braves had another penalty shot attempt, this time from much farther away and with a host of Monarch to get through.
An arching pass followed by two shot attempts were sealed.
However, another rebound shot went through at 26 minutes with Monarch players, coaches and fans alike pleading that an Olentangy player was offside.
Marysville picked up the pace in the bottom leg of the second half.
The Monarchs sent a multitude of shots on goal, attempting to claw back into the match from a 2-0 deficit.
The offensive threat intensified late in the second half, but the effort fell short once regulation ended.
“The thing about soccer is it comes down to one or two moments,” Harmanis said. “We were on the wrong side of them.”
The Monarchs are slated to face off against Dublin Scioto on Thursday, starting at 7 p.m. as it’s the last time the senior teammates will compete at Monarch Stadium to end the regular season.
Looking even further ahead, the Monarchs are poised to make some noise in the postseason as the team attempts to iron out its issues ahead of competition.
“Goal scoring is what we are continuing to work on,” Harmanis said. “That’s kind of been our struggle point for most of the season.”
In soccer, you can’t get in position if you don’t pass, and you can’t score if you don’t shoot. Tuesday night showed many instances of solid passing from teammates, but connecting the ball with net was very troublesome.
“There were probably six, seven, eight moments where a goal could have come about,” Harmanis said.
In the first round of the central district tournament, the Monarchs are seeded 26th and are schedule to compete against the winner of the Walnut Ridge (No. 44)-Pickerington North (No. 15) match.
That contest will be played on Thursday, Oct. 21.
“We feel like we have a good chance to move on and we will be ready,” Harmanis said.