CENTENARY, Ohio — A night of historical proportions.
Senior Brody Wilt scored four times to reach 100 goals for his career, which helped the Gallia Academy boys soccer team secure its first-ever shutout victory at the District level on Tuesday night during an 8-0 victory over visiting Miami Trace in a Division II Southeast district semifinal match held at Lester Field.
The second-seeded Blue Devils (17-1-1) recorded the first 16 shots of regulation — which led to a 3-0 lead — en route to a dominant offensive performance as the hosts out-shot the 10th-seeded Panthers (7-11-1) by a 23-6 overall margin.
“It sounds cliché, but, we have had a tough season filled with adversity,” Miami Trace head coach Josh Thoroman said. “We graduate nine seniors who have contributed a lot to the program over the course of their high school careers.”
Miami Trace’s nine seniors are: Drew Black, Noah Perry, Connor Bucher, Nfanly Mara, Dylan Farley, Anthony Langley, Todd Ford, Logan Johnson and Hayden Hunter.
“We were able to honor our dear friend and beloved assistant coach, Sean Sweeney, by winning a Sectional title,” Thoroman said. “This will be noted on the banner and displayed in the gym at the school.”
GAHS held an 18-2 advantage in shots by the intermission and claimed a 26-4 edge in shots in goal, with MTHS producing its first shot of the match with 7:15 remaining in the opening half.
Wilt, who accounted for half of the Blue Devils’ offensive output, managed the second score of the game, then tacked on three more scores after the break. That fourth goal, which came in the 65th minute, allowed the 4-year starting captain to reach triple-digits for his career — something believed to be a first in program history.
Wilt’s memorable night started as anything but, with the senior bouncing a pair of point-blank shot attempts off the cross bar and off the post in the opening 90 seconds of regulation.
In the sixth minute, however, the Blue Devils broke into the scoring column as Carson Wamsley headed in a throw-in pass from Maddux Camden — giving GAHS a quick 1-0 cushion with 34:25 remaining.
Wilt started his pursuit of triple-digits in the 15th minute as he planted a penalty kick for a 2-goal edge with 25:36 remaining, then Camden completed the first half scoring on a rebound from six yards away. Camden’s goal came with 13:51 left in the half and made it a 3-0 contest.
Wilt increased the lead to 4-0 with 31:36 left in regulation as he dribbled right from 12 yards out, stopped and crossed back left before firing a left-footed shot that ricocheted off of the left post and into the net.
Wamsley netted a rebound in front for a 5-0 advantage with 29:29 remaining, then Wilt scored on a breakaway two minutes later for a sizable 6-goal cushion.
Wilt tacked on his 100th career goal with 24:23 left as he made a 1-on-1 move in front of the goal and scored on the left side for a 7-0 edge.
Keagan Daniels tacked on the final goal after bouncing a shot in off of the bottom side of the right crossbar, making it an 8-0 contest with 13:51 still remaining in regulation.
Gallia Academy will play in its second consecutive District championship in as many postseasons on Thursday when it faces sixth-seeded Athens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night at Zane Trace High School. Athens defeated third-seeded Fairfield Union by a 3-2 count in overtime in the other D-2 District semifinal on Tuesday night.
The Blue Devils claimed an 8-4 edge in corner kicks and received three saves from keeper Bryson Miller. GAHS recorded its 10th shutout of the year, including its fourth straight overall.
Dylan Farley made nine stops in net for the Panthers and Jacob Pettit had two saves.
In other Division II District semifinal matches Tuesday, Marietta defeated Hillsboro, 6-2 and Unioto shut out Alexander, 1-0.
Marietta will play Unioto for a District championship Thursday.
— Record-Herald Sports Editor Chris Hoppes contributed to this report.