TIFFIN Genoa midfielder Cory Hornyak has been unstoppable this season, and the big, strong, fast senior could not be contained again last night as he led the Comets to a Division III regional semifinal victory at Columbian High.
Hornyak scored his 43rd and 44th goals of the year and assisted on the game-winner with a perfect, long distance throw-in in as Genoa dropped Fort Jennings 5-3.
Hornyak had two assists and two goals, and freshman Cody Katschke also scored two goals as Genoa (20-1-1) advanced to the regional final on Saturday at 7 p.m. against Kidron Central Christian.
I think a lot of people think Cory is overrated because of his stats, and they figure we play nobody, said Genoa coach Dave Bertz. I have news for you: He is everything he is advertised to be and then some. The kid is a machine.
Hornyak, who now has 22 assists, suffered a minor cut to his head late in the game and left to get stitches immediately after it ended.
Both teams went up and down the field creating chances in a fast-paced, energetic and entertaining battle. Genoa put 13 shots on net and Fort Jennings (17-3-0) had 15.
Hornyak took a perfect feed upfield from senior Mike Threet to score the game s first goal. Hornyak took a shot just inside the box that Fort Jennings keeper Ross Gerdeman dove to stop. But with Gerdeman prone on the ground, Hornyak collected the rebound and scored into an empty net to make it 1-0 with 34:19 left in the first half.
Fort Jennings got on the board on Alex Maag s goal off an assist from Aaron Chandler.
The Comets responded just over a minute later on a powerful boot by Katschke. Hornyak knocked the ball up to Katschke, who launched a shot that went in just under the crossbar.
Comet goaltender Jared Auer, who was sharp throughout along with the defense, then made a key leaping save.
The defense not only played a great game, so did Jared, Bertz said. I don t know how many times he came out and took balls away. He played the best game of his career.
Just 38 seconds later, Hornyak beat his defender one-on-one and laced a pretty left-footed shot into the lower corner of the net to make it 3-1 with 14:42 remaining in the first half.
He is so big and strong, he runs through people, Bertz said.
The Musketeers pulled back within a goal on some nice footwork by Derek Kaverman, who made it 3-2 just 2:57 into the second half.
Kaverman then tied it on a deflection off of a Genoa defender that got by Auer.
But 3:46 later Hornyak s running throw-in near the corner went right to the head of senior Ben Edens who knocked it in for the game-winner.
His throw-ins are like corner kicks, Bertz said. It s just one more weapon.
Katschke put it away when Gerdeman mishandled the ball and Katschke kicked it in to make it 5-3 with 4:42 left.
Our coach told us to keep pushing to win the game and we came back and scored two more, Katschke said. I m really, really proud. I feel really good.
Hornyak has scored the most goals in a season and in a career in Genoa history and has led the Comets further than they ve ever been.
I ve never been a part of anything like this. This is what it s all about, Bertz said.
Contact Mark Monroe at:firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6110.