CIRCLEVILLE — Seven different Tigers scored on Saturday in a 7-3 win over visiting Miami Trace in a Division II Southeast District sectional championship match.
Top-seeded Circleville (14-1-2) advances to a district semifinal today at 5 p.m. against fourth-seeded Gallia Academy (6-10-1) at Logan High School. The Blue Devils defeated South Point 6-1 in their sectional final.
“We put up a big effort against the No. 1 seed,” Miami Trace head coach Josh Thoroman said.
Jonas Heider put the Tigers on the scoreboard only 23 seconds into the match off an assist from Jacob Heidish.
Miami Trace (7-10-1) countered with a goal from Blake Pittser with 35:06 remaining in the first half to tie the match at 1-1.
“It may sound strange, but I was actually pretty concerned about scoring so quickly,” CHS coach Steve Wastier said. “I told the boys we needed to work hard for 80 minutes in pregame because we hadn’t played for 10 days. Then Miami Trace turns around and scores just four minutes later. I think that was the wake up call they needed to realize we had to take this match seriously.”
The Tigers responded with four goals over the final 28 minutes of the first half to take a 5-1 halftime lead.
Heidish started the run by scoring off an assist from Mitchell Castillo. The tandem switched roles with Castillo scoring off an assist from Heidish with 22:47 remaining in the first half to put the Tigers ahead 3-1.
Draven Bass assisted on the final two goals of the first half that were scored by Sam Smith and Morgan Windsor.
“I’m very impressed with the way they responded after Miami Trace tied it up,” Wastier said. “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a total team contribution like that with seven players scoring. Just brilliant effort there, but we need to keep that high tempo work rate with a quick turn around before we play again Tuesday.”
The ninth-seeded Panthers trimmed the CHS lead down to 5-3 thanks to two goals by Edik Liff at 38:06 and 35 minutes remaining.
“We came out swinging there in the second half,” Thoroman said.
Circleville put away the match with unassisted goals by Bass and Peter Winter.
Sean Wroten made three saves for the Tigers, while Tim Kinzler had 11 for the Panthers.
It was the second win for Circleville over Miami Trace this season. The Tigers opened the season with a 5-0 win over their one-time South Central Ohio League rival.
Post season honors continue for Miami Trace as Blake Pittser was named First Team, All-District.
Tim Kinzler was named Second Team, All-District and Ethan Conn and Edik Liff were named Honorable Mention, All-District.