St. X Soccer Draws a Good Olentangy Liberty Team
The Tiger soccer team finished Friday night’s match in a 2-2 tie against Olentangy Liberty High School, a top ranked soccer program from the state of Ohio.
Junior Colin Kremer was the big story of the night, as he consistently found great scoring opportunities throughout the game. In just the 19th minute, Kremer ripped a long shot from far beyond the goalie box, placing the ball with accuracy and pace. The Olentangy Liberty goalie showed incredible athleticism as he punched the ball just enough, saving the shot and preserving the scoreless game. Just moments later in the 22nd minute, Liberty found the back of the net with a shot of their own, giving themselves the 1-0 lead over the Tigers.
St. X responded quickly, forcing transitional opportunities upon Olentangy Liberty’s defense. In the 28th minute, Kremer once again found himself open with the ball out on top of the goalie box. He shot with the same speed and direction as before, but this time it was too much for the goalie to save. Kremer’s goal tied the game back up at 1-1.
In the closing minutes of the first half, Olentangy Liberty scored their second goal of the game, giving them the 2-1 lead over the Tigers heading into the break.
Liberty came out of halftime with strong momentum on their side, but the Tigers kept fighting. Both teams possessed the ball without much offensive attention through the opening minutes of the second half. A key substitution by coach Andy Schulten proved to be a difference-maker, as Senior Dean Mock came into the game with fresh legs and energy. Immediately, his impact was noticed as he re-ignited the offensive flame for the tigers, setting up a solid shooting opportunity for himself in the 59th minute, but just missing. This attack continued up to the 65th minute, where Senior Captain Clay Brown dribbled through multiple defenders and finished his run with a skillful goal. The game was tied 2-2 heading into the final 15 minutes of play.
As the clock ran down, the playing field began to open up, giving goal opportunities everywhere. Olentangy created many good scoring chances for themselves, including one cross towards the St. X center in the 73rd minute which bounced around uncontrollably. One Liberty player was able to get a shot off, but Senior Goalie Alex Popovich made a fantastic last effort save to keep the lead out of Liberty’s hands.
In the last minute of the game, St. X produced one of the best scoring chances of the night, as Klayton Grimes chased down a long overhead through-ball. The Liberty goalie made a great play and blocked Grimes in his path, but the ball came loose while the keeper was far outside off the box. Colin Kremer found the ball, took a stutter step, and ripped a shot with three seconds remaining. The ball was on target, but a Liberty defender preserved the score with a blocking header, stopping St. X’s last chance for a goal. The Tigers finished the night in a 2-2 draw.
The soccer team’s theme through the opening games of the season has been one of bonding and getting better as a team. Junior Colin Kremer was particularly proud of the way the team played on Friday. Specifically, he thought the “team responded well after giving the second goal up” and fighting to tie the game back up. Kremer thought the team’s effort towards the end showed the “heart and determination” that the team has been working hard to find. After playing in a game like Friday’s, Kremer truly believes that this St. X team can “hang with anyone” and shows that they “belong with the other teams at the top.”