Kevin Kelly reports:
The Mason boys’ soccer team will play for its first Division I state title after making an early goal hold up in its semifinal match Wednesday against defending state champions Powell Olentangy Liberty.
Senior forward Jack Clark scored in the second minute against Olentangy Liberty, and the Comets defense protected the 1-0 lead by holding the Patriots to one shot on goal at Centerville Stadium.
Mason had lost to Olentangy Liberty (17-4-1) in the state semifinals last season.
“It feels amazing,” said Clark, a University of Cincinnati commit. “Especially coming out against the same team and getting that revenge. It feels great. This is the first time the boys have ever made it, so it’s awesome.”
Ranked No. 1 in the final state coaches’ poll, Mason (21-0-1) has allowed a microscopic five goals this season and Wednesday’s shutout was its 18th.
“We just had trouble getting shots,” Olentangy Liberty coach Rick Collins said. “We had trouble getting behind them.
“I felt like we were in their half a lot in the second half, just nothing quality on goal. A lot of credit to them. They just really shut us down defensively.”
Mason will face No. 3 Mentor at 7 p.m. Saturday at Crew Stadium in Columbus, according to the OHSAA’s website. Mentor (18-0-4) was a 1-0 winner against Whitehouse Anthony Wayne in Wednesday’s other semifinal.