By: Joe Blystone
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
PORT CLINTON (November 1, 2023) – Two things that are a cruel given in sports. First, the last game you play no matter how good you are, unless you win the state title, you’re going to get beat.
The second? Any school that has “St., Academy, Christian, Catholic or Country Day” is….well, someone who doesn’t play by the same rules off the field as everyone does on it.
Evergreen knocked off one of those so-called “recruit” schools when they beat Maumee Valley Country Day to win the Division III district soccer title and reach the Sweet 16.
They couldn’t get past a second as they fell to Kidron Central Christian and their NBA player-sized goalie Bryan Martin, 2-0, before a massive Viking crowd at Port Clinton.
“We did the things we wanted to do, it was the final third again that got us a little bit,” Viking coach Dave Skoczyn said after.
“I thought for the most part we defended really well in areas, and I think we got to the places we needed to get to. The final ball, the final pass, the non-shot or the shot right at the goalie, all those things I think contributed to what happened.”
“It’s the hardest part of the game, finishing and today I thought we dominated the game, we had the ball 70 percent of the time or so, we just didn’t get it in the net.”
It took just 15 seconds into the match for an indicator on what the night was going to be like for the Vikings.
Tyson Woodring got loose for a banger from just outside the box, but the 6’7 Martin took a step and snared the drive.
Martin then stopped Nick Rosinski’s header off Brady Kanneman’s corner with 28:00 left in the half and Kanneman’s free kick six minutes later.
Woodring had another shot, going low on a free kick with 12 minutes to go, but Martin scooped that up and then stopped Riley Dunbar’s bullet from the 10-yard line at the five-minute mark.
A scrum in front of the net in the closing seconds saw Rosinski and Konnor Sanford get tries on the net, only to be stopped by Martin.
In all Evergreen got 11 shots at the goal in the first half while Kidron Christian didn’t get a single shot off against Alex Mossing.
Mossing finally had some action early in the second, grabbing Aidan Munnholand’s shot from the middle five minutes in.
The second Christian attempt didn’t work out as well for the Vikings. Josiah Bixler working right of the goal lofted a ball to the opposite side where Lyle Endsley headed it into the net with 23:26 left for a 1-0 Christian lead.
Martin made a diving save on Dunbar halfway through the second to keep the Vikings off the board, then turned away Sanford from the right side.
With 6:23 to go, Christian got the clincher when Aaron Miedel scored from the left side of the net on the inside half.
“It (stinks) for the seniors and it always does,” Skoczyn lamented. “But five years ago, who would’ve thought we would be here this fast. Year one, year two, year three, who would’ve thought.”
“This doesn’t take anything away from what they have accomplished to win 18 games in a season, to play as many games as we have and do the things that we have done.”
In the fifth year of their soccer existence, the Vikings notched their first league title, third consecutive sectional championship and the afore mentioned district title and trip to the Final 16.
In the last three seasons, Evergreen won 46 games, including a school record 18 victories this season.
The Vikings, who finished ranked 5th in the final Ohio Division III poll, have not lost at home in the last 31 games.
Evergreen will say goodbye to 2021-2022 second team All-Ohioan Woodring along with Rosinski, Dunbar, Cory and Brady Kanneman, Brodie Setmire, Lanegan Smallman and 2022 All-District player Elijah Hernandez, who missed this season after having knee surgery the first week of the campaign.
Kidron Central Christian (13-7-1) – Goals: Lyle Endsley, Aaron Miedel; Assists: Josiah Bixler
Evergreen (18-2-1) – no statistics