by Tim Smith
The Cedarville Yellow Jackets were defeated by Ohio Dominican 2-1 on Tuesday evening. The game marked the end of the regular season, with Cedarville finishing 11-5-2 on the year.
With the loss, Cedarville dropped out of first place in the conference. The Tiffin Dragons heed the first seed for the tournament, awarding them hosting rights in the semi-finals and finals.
Both squads started out aggressive, garnering multiple scoring opportunities on both sides. But Ohio Dominican would be the first strike, scoring in the 45th minute and taking a 1-0 lead into the half.
The Panthers’ scoring effort gave the team momentum into the second half, and they capitalized in the 48th minute to go up 2-0 on the Yellow Jackets.
The Yellow Jackets began an arsenal of offensive surges later in the match, pushing their possessions into the attacking third. In the 81st minute, freshman Jonny Stephens made a beautiful attack on the ball and drove it into the net, shortening the Panthers’ lead to 2-1.
Stephens’ goal shifted momentum to the Yellow Jackets, who began an all-out assault on the Ohio Dominican defense. However, the Panthers would stand strong and hold out Cedarville to win the match.
Though the outcome was not ideal for our Yellow Jackets, there is a silver lining – Cedarville finished the season ranked second in the G-MAC, earning a first round bye in the tournament.
“If you look at the entire body of work, the guys did an excellent job to get to this place. Right now, we need to realign, reassess, and mentally refresh to prepare for whoever we have to play next Thursday,” coach Faro said.
Coach Faro isn’t the only one grateful of the first-round bye.
“You know, we finally get a full week to recover and that’s a big focus for this week,” said senior forward Cole Butaud. “We need to come into Thursday defensively solid, offensively creative, and just ready to play overall.”
The Yellow Jackets will play their first tournament game next Thursday, Nov. 1. Their opponent will be determined as the first round of tournament games progress this weekend.