BAY VILLAGE — It must be frustrating to be a Revere soccer fan. For the second year in a row, Bay’s boys shut out the Minutemen in a Division II district soccer final Thursday night.
It took the Rockets a while to break a scoreless tie, but when junior Aaron Adkins blooped a shot into the Revere net in the 62nd minute, it opened the door for Bay’s 2-0 victory, 12th district championship and third district crown in a row.
The Rockets advance to a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Medina Soccer Stadium. The opponent will be Medina Highland, a 2-0 winner over Akron Hoban on Thursday night in the Brunswick district championship.
Bay (15-3-1) has been a Final Four qualifier the last two years and state runner-up in 2005. The Rockets have won three state championships. Revere (12-5-2) was blanked 1-0 by the Rockets in the 2006 district final.
Adkins, a junior. also nailed Bay’s second goal, which could have as easily been scored by junior Ian Munro, who banged a shot off the right goalpost in the 77th minute. The rebound wound up on Adkins’ foot, and he kicked it in.
Bay keeper Nate McDonald, who earned the shutout, was credited with three saves, but had only one tough chance and it came late in the second half.
“The defense did very well tonight,” McDonald said of the backs playing in front of him. “I didn’t get a shot on frame except late in the second half. (The defense) did really well holding them off. We have a strong defense and they’ve been doing that all year.”
Bay dominated statistically through the first 60 minutes, although the Minutemen hung in largely on the play of goalkeeper Ryan Hoffner. But Hoffner figured in the action when opportunity knocked for the Rockets in the 62nd minute.
The Rockets’ Robert Olson took control of the ball during a Revere push, moved up the right flank and sent a long pass ahead into the Minutemen zone. Adkins, racing into the Revere zone, moved in on the ball from one direction as Hoffner came off his line from the opposite direction hoping to break up the play.
Adkins got there first. He hit a little chip shot over Hoffner’s head and the ball went into the net on one bounce.
“The ball was cleared to me, I think by Evan Shaughnessy, and I really just played the ball down to Aaron,” Olson said. “Aaron ran in and made me look good to finish a ball like that.”
“This is big,” Adkins said of the victory. “We lost to them a few years ago and ever since, it’s been a rivalry. We just played hard tonight and everyone is just pumped right now. This is good stuff.”
Revere applied heavy pressure and nearly scored in a big scramble in front of the Rockets net more than 75 minutes into the game. But Bay cleared and went on the offensive. Munro came up with the ball, moved down the left side and had a clear shot at the Revere net. His hard shot hit the goalpost, but Adkins was there for the score.
“That goal was all Ian Munro,” said Adkins. “I just followed after he worked through about three guys and hit the post. It was his goal.”
In the aftermath, Bay coach Bobby Dougherty breathed a sigh of relief.
“During the halftime talk, (assistant coach Sean Egan) said, ‘Look, relax. Smile. You’re better, keep possession, get your heads up and you’re going to be OK.’ But the last two days of training have been phenomenal. We came out and everything seemed to click. We could have been ahead 2 or 3 to nothing in the first five minutes, but their keeper played out of his mind.”
Bay 2, Revere 0
GOALS: Aaron Adkins 2 (58th, 77th minutes).
ASSISTS: Robert Olson, Ian Munro.
SHOTS: Revere 9, Bay 13.
SHOTS ON FRAME: Revere 3, Bay 8.
SAVES: (R) Ryan Hoffner 7, Nick Austin 0. (B) Nate McDonald 5.
CORNER KICKS: Revere 0, Bay 2.
OFFSIDE: Revere 1, Bay 3.
CARDS: (R) Tanner Krauth yellow, 25th minute; (B) Andrew Wyktza yellow, 78th minute.