ROSSFORD – In an ending that’ll be talked about for some time, Archbold had what looked to be a goal in the waning seconds, however, the officials agreed the headed-out ball never crossed the goal line in the final seconds, as the Blue Streaks fell to Ottawa Hills 2-1 in a Division III boys soccer district final at Rossford’s Glenwood Athletic Complex Saturday evening.
Trailing 2-1 late, Archbold applied pressure on the Ottawa Hills defense all the way until the final horn. On its final attack of the night, a ball headed into the box was sent towards the goal with the Ottawa Hills keeper out of position. However, an Ottawa Hills defender headed the ball out of the net. The officials decided the player wasn’t across the goal line when he made the play, meaning the save was good and the Green Bears held on to win.
“It came down to inches and that is a really good team over there,” Archbold coach Sean Stewart said of the end of the game. “It hurts right now, but I’m proud of the guys.
“It certainly looked to me – and I don’t have the best angle – but it certainly looked to me like we had the ball in the net,” Stewart said of the final play of the game. “It was cleared out from inside the goal. What are you going to do? If we take our chances earlier in the game, then it doesn’t matter. It is what it is.”
Josh Kidder cut the Ottawa Hills lead to 2-1 with 8:11 to go when he sent a shot past the keeper for a goal. It came after the Blue Streaks had a couple of chances early in the second half.
The Green Bears took a 1-0 lead with 22:48 left in the first half when Donovan Bridges sent a shot across the box that bent into the net. Ten minutes later – after a lengthy delay because of a player injury – Ottawa Hills went up 2-0 when Kevin Hileman scored immediately once play resumed.
“It’s easy for me to say that stoppage took us out of our game,” Stewart said of the delay. “But they had to sit through it too. They were more prepared to come out after the stoppage than we were.”
Archbold nearly took the lead just six minutes into the game. Kidder had a breakaway chance, but he was taken off the ball in what proved to be the physical nature of the game.
“We probably should have had one (goal) in the first half,” admitted Stewart. “It seemed like we’d get a couple chances, but just couldn’t put them away. We just didn’t get clean contact or whatever it was.”
The Blue Streak end the season 16-2-1, with the two losses being a pair of 2-1 games to Ottawa Hills.