History was made at Panther Stadium on the campus of Miami Trace High School on a rainy, increasingly chilly Thursday evening.
After 28 years of soccer, the Miami Trace boys team won the school’s first-ever Sectional championship, 4-0 over the Braves from Logan Elm.
Some Sectionals require two victories to advance to the District. This one took only one as the No. 4 seeded Panthers shutout the No. 5 seeded Braves.
Miami Trace improves to 12-4-1 on the season.
The Panthers will play in the District semifinals at Logan High School Tuesday at 5 p.m. The opponent will be the winner of Thursday’s match between Athens and Fairland.
Thursday’s win pushes Miami Trace’s winning streak to six games in a row.
It was the Panthers’ seventh shutout victory of the season.
“I’m feeling pretty good right now,” Miami Trace head coach Josh Thoroman said after listing some of his team’s accomplishments.
Senior Tim Kinzler had eight saves for Miami Trace on 13 Logan Elm shots.
“He’s been stout all season,” Thoroman said.
The defenders in front of Kinzler are: juniors Preston Huff, Matt Fender and Adam Ginn and sophomore Drew Batson.
Miami Trace took 20 shots in the match. Logan Elm’s keeper, Brendan Kleman, had six saves.
“This is a very good Logan Elm squad,” Thoroman said. “They came in tonight 9-5-2.
“They’re a team that passes the ball very well,” Thoroman said. “They communicate very well. They’re just a solid team all the way around.
“What we have that other teams don’t have, is an intensity,” Thoroman said. “Our kids have this mindset that we will beat you to every ball, over and over and over. That’s what happened tonight. We kept beating them to the ball.
“We have a quote, the harder you work, the luckier you get,” Thoroman said, referring to a quote from golf great Gary Player. “We just out-work our opponents.”
Blake Pittser scored what proved to be the winning goal with 14:09 to play in the first half, a 25-yard strike with the assist going to senior Thomas Bondi.
The score remained 1-0 at the half.
Pittser scored unassisted with 38:35 remaining in the second half.
“Blake blasted a shot,” Thoroman said. “There was a nice, non-goalie save but it rebounded right back to Blake and he converted that.”
Junior Brett Lewis scored, with the assist to junior Ethan Powell, with 36:43 remaining.
“Ethan did a throw-in to Brett, found him at the six-yard box and he shot it far-post,” Thoroman said.
“Our final goal was a beautiful volley shot,” Thoroman said. “Blake played a free kick, Ethan Conn found him on the back post and he finished on a volley shot.” That came with 31:31 to play in the game.
“After that, we went into a defensive mode,” Thoroman said. “We had the shutout; we’ve been craving those. This is our seventh of the season.
“We played 19 guys tonight,” Thoroman said. “Unfortunately, two of our seniors, Todd Peterson and Nick Elrich, are at the national FFA convention. They’ll be tickled to death when they hear about this.”
In other Division II Sectional tournament soccer Thursday, the Washington Blue Lions defeated the Zane Trace Pioneers, 2-0 to claim a Sectional championship.
The Blue Lions will play either South Point or Warren on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. at Logan High School.
Please check the Record-Herald’s website or Saturday’s paper for a report.
After defeating Hillsboro 3-1 Monday, the McClain Tigers lost in the Sectional finals to Fairfield Union, 5-1 Thursday night.
Chillicothe blanked Unioto, 4-0.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1