Despite a solid effort turned in by Oberlin on both sides of the ball Saturday afternoon, it was a well-timed goal off the foot of senior forward Dorian Boye-Doe that was the difference in a 1-0 win over St. Peter Chanel.
Boye-Doe was in the right place at the right time, redirecting the ball off of a deflection from senior teammate Sam Weiss and over the head of Chanel junior goalie Tyler Jordan. The score came at the 14:44 mark of the first half, and helped the Phoenix improve to 12-2-1 on the season.
“It was a little bit of luck,” Boye-Doe said, smiling. “I can’t build myself up and say, ‘Yeah, I knew I was going to make it’, but I’m glad it went in.
“Sam was trying to get it in there, and when it bounced out, I took the shot. It was a little bit of a fumble for the ball, and it was difficult because there was a defender right in front of me. I couldn’t just strike it. I had to sort of loft it over the goalie’s head. So I was happy to see it get over him and end up in the goal.”
Oberlin outshot Chanel 15-9 and dominated play for most of the match. Only problem for the Phoenix was finding the back of the Firebirds’ net.
At the other end, senior goalie Storm Ferguson recorded four saves, while senior Liam McMillin helped to anchor the Oberlin defense.
“We need to look at putting more goals in the net and finishing more, but it was a good match and good to get the shutout,” Oberlin coach Matt Fox said. “There were a couple of times where I wasn’t too sure that the ball wasn’t going to go in for them (Chanel), but overall the defense played pretty solid. We’re missing three starters today, so it was good to see some other guys pick up the slack.”
“Chanel has a tough team,” Ferguson said. “They have a couple of real good strikers, and a couple of times they almost got me. But overall I thought we played well and our defense stepped up to the challenge.”
Also stepping up to the challenge was Chanel’s Jordan, who collected nine saves in the match, most from point-blank range. Without his efforts, the close match would have been an Oberlin romp.
“This one felt like more than just a 1-0 game,” said Weiss, one of the area’s top scoring threats. “We had some opportunities to score, but just didn’t get them to go. I think we may have felt like we were too much in control, and you can’t feel like that against anyone to the point where you just sit back and relax.
“And their goalie did a real nice job. He had a lot of nice saves. But I think we didn’t test him as much as we should have, and that may have been the difference.”
Chanel coach Nick Urban, who saw his team fall to 7-5-1, was thrilled with how the Firebirds played against Oberlin.
“We played with a lot of heart, and I think we are improving as a team,” Urban said. “This was probably our best game of the year, and the boys played tough till the end. I just can’t be any prouder of them.”
The win was big for the Phoenix for more than just their record. The Division III tournament draw will take place today, and Chanel is in the Rocky River sectional/district draw along with Oberlin.
“We’re always looking for a No. 1 (top seed), but I know that there are some other really good teams out there,” Fox said. “It would be nice to get one of the top two seeds and get to play some home games, but we’ll see what happens.”
Contact John McDermott at 329-7135 or ctsportschroniclet.com.