Howard (Bud) Noble
Hayes played even with host Anderson in the second half of Wednesday’s OHSLA Club Division state semifinal in Cincinnati, but a tough start spoiled the late effort as the Pacers fell 9-6 to end what was easily the most successful season in the program’s history.
“We just didn’t play our game early on,” Hayes coach Dick Sanfillipo said. “We weren’t picking up ground balls, we weren’t passing or catching well … we just didn’t do the basic things we’ve done all year. We didn’t play within ourselves.”
The sluggish start resulted in a 6-3 halftime hole and, while the Pacers played even with the hosts in the second half, tying them 3-3, they couldn’t climb all the way out of the hole they put themselves in over the course of the first two quarters.
“We really didn’t turn it on until the fourth quarter,” Sanfillipo said. “But we’ll learn from this. We had two juniors on the field, and the rest were sophomores and juniors. We’ll obviously head into next season with goals, one of which will be to win the state title. As far as I know, all the kids will be back and they know what they have to do to get to where they want to be.”
Hayes goalie Michael Duffy had one of his best games of the season despite allowing the nine shots to slip by, closing with 15 saves.
Offensive standouts included Dominic Sanfillipo, who had a team-best three goals, while the trio of Griffin Kinney, Josh Bender and Jordan Carlson finished with one each.
The Pacers finished their season with a Club Division mark of 11-1.
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