LIMA — Ottawa Hills coach Nate Baer was a nervous wreck when his team went to a penalty kick shootout in Saturday’s Division III boys soccer regional final.
Tommy Coil and Kevin Hileman, not so much.
Coil, the Ottawa Hills goalkeeper, made one save and saw another shot sail wide as the Green Bears survived with a 2-1 victory (4-2 in penalty kicks) against Mansfield Christian in a physical game at Lima Stadium.
Ottawa Hills (19-0-2) and ranked No. 3 in the final Ohio High School Soccer Coaches Association poll, will make its fourth state semifinal appearance Wednesday against Kidron Central Christian (15-4-2) at a time and site to be determined.
“I hate PK shootouts. I lost my last high school game in a PK shootout. I have trouble watching PKs,” Baer said. “I was glad to come out on top this time.”
Baer found it almost unbearable to watch.
“I watched [Mansfield Christian] kick it, but I didn’t watch my boys kick it, because it is too much anxiety for me.”
Hileman’s stress level wasn’t as high as Baer’s.
“We had total confidence in our goalie,” Hileman said. “We knew we had it in the bag when we went PKs.”
Hileman started the shootout with a goal for the Green Bears.
“We [had a shootout] in my freshmen year against Archbold in the district final and I stepped up and missed and we lost,” Hileman said.
“When I stepped up, I knew exactly where it was going.”
Both teams missed on their second shots, as Coil stretched his 6-foot-4 frame out to make a diving stop to his right.
“There is a lot of emotion in PKs but as a keeper you can’t let it get in your head because it is just a guessing game,” Coil said.
“I was confident knowing we would get the victory.”
Both teams hit their third PK with Dylan Schreder scoring for Ottawa Hills. John Kight nailed the Green Bears’ fourth shot before Mansfield Christian’s Wyatt Earhart shot wide left in attempting to get past the long, outstretched arms of Coil.
Jan Durst then iced it for Ottawa Hills, state champions in 2008 and state semifinalists in 2012 and 2010, by hitting the fifth shot of the PK.
“Any more PKs was going to put me over the edge,” Baer said. “We were well prepared with a goalkeeper like Tommy. We spent this summer in a couple of PK shootouts. I was confident going into that that he would make some big saves.”
The Green Bears, who outshot Mansfield Christian 22-12 and had a 12-6 corner-kick advantage, pressured Mansfield Christian at various times duribng regulation and especially in the first overtime.
The only times that pressure paid off was with 5:35 left in the first half. Ottawa Hills was awarded a corner kick, and it was headed out away from the net by a Flames’ player. Drew Hoffman gathered in the loose ball and fired a shot past the Flames’ keeper Gavin Kiliany into the middle of the net.
Mansfield Christian (14-6-1) was able to get the equalizer with 16:35 left. Seth Stoner had a throw-in from about 30 feet out on the narrow field. He put the throw on net and Jared McPeek headed a shot that Coil stopped just before it crossed the line. But Coil couldn’t control the ball and it went right back to McPeek, who headed it home.
Despite that goal, Coil came up big when he needed to and helped the Green Bears get to state.
“This is amazing. It feels great right now,” the junior keeper said.
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