Liberty took control of Tuesday’s OCC-Cardinal Division tilt with host Olentangy early … really, really early.
The Patriots scored less than a minute in as Aiden Bean flicked a midfield pass to a streaking Sam DeRoy, who got ahead of the Braves’ backline and deposited the ball into the back of the net at the 39:26 mark of the first half. Liberty scored three more unanswered tallies on the way to a 4-1 win.
“The key was how quickly we got started,” Liberty coach Rick Collins said. “We scored so early I think it kind of shocked us. They gave us some issues for the next 15 minutes or so, getting the better of play, but when we scored our second goal it settled us down a bit and took a little out of them.”
Olentangy responded to the early hole well, getting within inches of an equalizer when a throw-in from the right side was headed off the crossbar before being cleared out of harm’s way with 36 minutes to go in the opening half.
Shortly after, another setpiece — this time a free kick onto the foot of Jon Martin — came agonizingly close to a goal, but sailed over the net, ending the threat.
The Patriots regained momentum after that, though, getting a goal from Alex Ranalli on a corner kick Braves keeper Donovan McGuire couldn’t handle, taking a 2-0 lead with 10:57 to go until the intermission.
Liberty (6-0-1) maintained the lead until the half, getting another pair of goals from DeRoy and Ranalli before Olentangy’s (2-4-1) Jon Bechtol poked one in with about 20 minutes to go to account for the final margin.
• Big Walnut scored twice in the first five minutes, then weathered a Hilliard Bradley attack to escape with a 2-0 halftime lead en route to a 3-1 OCC-Capital Division win Tuesday in Sunbury.
Austin Foor scored both Golden Eagle (4-0-3) goals in the opening half before Dominic Zumpone added the final tally. Ryan Schmidt and Shane Facemyer had assists.
Lukas Swysgood was solid in the Big Walnut goal, making seven saves in the win — five in the first half. The squad was also a bit fortunate as two Bradley shots hit the crossbar over the course of the game.