Boys Division I state soccer championship
■Who: Southview (17-3-2) vs. No. 2 Powell Olentangy Liberty (21-1)
■When: Today, 7 p.m.
■Where: Columbus Crew Stadium, 1 Black and Gold Blvd., Columbus
■Notes: Southview is making its first appearance in a state championship match. ... The unranked Cougars have defied the odds and turned heads along the way to Columbus. Yet, Southview has knocked off plenty of opponents and hasn't flinched against plenty of others deemed traditional soccer powerhouses. Southview defeated Aurora 1-0 in a state semifinal on a goal by seniof forward Jared Yoshino with just over three minutes left in the second 15-minute overtime period. Southview goalie Eric Breeden recorded nine saves to collect the shutout win. ... Prior to their state semifinal victory, the Cougars topped Westlake 3-1 to claim a regional championship. Their march through the state tournament includes a stunning 2-1 victory over Northern Lakes League rival Anthony Wayne in a regional semifinal. The Cougars avenged a late-season loss to the seventh-ranked Generals in which AW overcame a 3-0 deficit with a second-half goal-scoring flurry to win 9-3. They blanked Maumee 2-0 to start the tournament run before stopping St. John's Jesuit 2-1 and St. Francis de Sales 2-1 (OT) in district matches. ... Southview has outscored its opponents 67-31, with senior Daniel Blackmar leading the way with a team-high 27 goals. Blackmar has been slowed recently due to an injury suffered during the second meeting with AW. But a Cougar team led by 19 seniors has continued to push forward in the program's best run in the state tournament. ... Southview coach Chad Cody has also leaned on the likes of Chris Ellis (8 goals, 5 assists), Yoshino (7 goals, 4 assists), Jared Lyle (17 assists), and Breeden (44 saves) to get the job done up to now. One more win and it's mission complete. ... Liberty earned the right to play for the state championship by knocking off 10th-ranked Mason 1-0 in a state semifinal. The Patriots defeated Dublin Coffman 3-1 in a regional final and Westerville North 3-1 in a regional semifinal on their journey to reach the state title match. ... The Patriots have outscored their opponents 63-15, including a 27-4 advantage over six tournament matches.
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