HURON — Bowling Green boys soccer saw its regional tournament run come to an end Wednesday, losing to top-ranked Richfield Revere, 2-0, at Huron Memorial Stadium’s Mucci Field.
BG, which won nine of its last 14 games, closes out at 11-8-2, while Revere (18-1-1) advances to take on Lima Shawnee (18-1-1) Saturday in a Division II regional final.
Revere outshot BG, 10-5, but it was the Minutemen’s combination of senior midfielder Ryan Hodgson to senior forward Ryan Brown that was the difference.
That combo teamed up to score both goals, the first coming three minutes and 38 seconds after the opening kickoff and the second with 13:20 remaining in the first half.
“They are a real good team,” BG coach Josh Fox said. “I think we did well for 80 minutes. Two mistakes that they capitalized on, and I told them at halftime, ‘We can’t make mistakes and let good teams take advantage of them.’
“It is what it is. I’m proud of the guys to get to this point. I would have liked to see this thing keep going, but I’m real proud at the end of the day.”
The Bobcats did not get a shot off until the second half, but did manage a flurry of shots with just over six minutes remaining in the game, putting pressure on Revere senior goalkeeper Ryan Cunningham.
Cunningham pulled off two successive saves to keep the Minutemen’s sheet clean. It was Cunningham’s only two saves, while BG junior goalkeeper Max Haynes had four saves.
Fox said the Bobcats changed their offense the second half, which led to a few more scoring opportunities.
“We changed up our formation a little bit. We saw some things that we thought we could take advantage of,” Fox said.
“I thought we played well in the second half — we got more chances. I just told them if we give up an early goal, we can let this thing avalanche or we can make them fight for 40 minutes and win, and at the end of the day our guys did well to keep fighting.”
Fox and senior forward Mathias Drumm said it was difficult getting past Revere’s midfield.
“They were just good at getting the ball out quickly and it was even more so their midfield, not letting the ball get to their backline that really shut us down,” Drumm said.
“We knew going in they were going to be a good team, but we knew if we could fight, we could at least keep it close, and I think that’s what we did. We didn’t let them overload us, we stayed in there and we fought to the end.”
Fox added, “The center midfielders did a really good job pressing. They fly to the ball, and they are fast.
“Really, their back line doesn’t have to do a ton because their center-mids keep it from getting there in the first place. Just a good pace, aggressive, pressing, and stuff like that. They are a good team.”
Drumm led the team in scoring this year with 51 points on 20 goals and 11 assists, sophomore forward Tomas Meek had 12 goals and 13 assists, and junior midfielder Cole Ash had 11 goals and five assists.
It was Ash that the Minutemen were the most concerned about.
“We expected some effort and technical ability from the midfield, for sure, but we really had a mindset on No. 3 (Ash) on their team,” said Revere coach Nick DePompei.
“He’s real quick and fast and we were making sure that he knew where he was on the field as he moves around a little bit. We moved and changed some things to make sure we had coverage on him.”
DePompei said the Bobcats turned the contest into a battle, and he was not surprised.
“(BG is) a really good team at this point,” DePompei said. “My AD is telling me that everybody is good at this point, and it’s just making sure that we find their strong points, try and shut down those down while continuing to try and play our game.”
It was just the second time in program history that BG reached the regional tournament, the first coming in 2011. Drumm is one of eight seniors who helped transform the program.
“It means a lot after four years — a great team and a great group of seniors,” Drumm said. “It’s the farthest we’ve been in a while, so it’s great to see we could come here and get some results. It was tough to lose, but it was a great season for us.”
Fox added, “When I came here four years ago the program was not in a good place. To go out with the seniors to make this run, you couldn’t have a better story. I’m proud of those guys.
“The message was ‘Thanks for being here. Thanks for doing what you did all four years.’ To the underclassmen it’s ‘Let’s see if we can make this an annual event.’”