CHILLICOTHE – More than two months have passed since the Fairfield Union boys’ soccer team suffered back-to-back losses against Athens and Marietta, leaving them with a 4-2 record.
However, the Falcons have undergone a transformation since that time. They have not lost a game since their defeat to Marietta in mid-September. In fact, they have won every match since then. Last Saturday, they emerged victorious in the district title game against Athens.
Now, in a Division II regional semifinal against Marietta, the Falcons seized the opportunity to seek revenge. The first half was a fierce battle with both teams unable to break the scoreless tie. However, with 26 minutes remaining in the second half, senior Caleb Redding found the back of the net to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead. He extended their advantage with another goal 8 minutes and 21 seconds before the end of the game. Although Marietta managed to score with 7 minutes and 34 seconds remaining, the Falcons’ defense held on for a 2-1 victory at Chillicothe’s Herrnstein Field.
The Falcons, who have enjoyed an undefeated streak of 14 wins and 1 draw since their loss to Marietta, will now face Watterson in the regional final at Bloom-Carroll High School. The winner of this match will secure a spot in the state tournament.
“We are here, so we might as well go ahead and win it,” declared Caleb Redding. “We have shown that we are capable of achieving success, especially during the tournament. We have made tremendous progress, as evidenced by our victories over Athens and Marietta.”
Redding’s Spectacular Performance
Since their first encounter with Marietta, the Falcons have been searching for opportunities to score, and Caleb Redding has emerged as a key player during the tournament. He scored both of the Falcons’ goals against Marietta, using his skills to deliver impressive shots.
Coach Jarrod Redding acknowledged Redding’s significant contributions: “At this point in the season, you need players like Caleb who can make the most of their chances and create something great out of them. He has been remarkable during this tournament run.”
Caleb Redding’s two goals against Marietta brought his season total to 29, a school record.
Controlling the Game with Stellar Goalkeeping
The Falcons demonstrated aggression and relentless attacking throughout the match, a strategy that has proven successful in all four of their tournament victories.
Senior goalkeeper DJ Spicer played an instrumental role in Wednesday’s win, delivering several outstanding saves against the Tigers.
“DJ has made some incredible saves during this whole tournament run. Without his exceptional performances, we wouldn’t have made it this far,” Coach Redding acknowledged.
In spite of the tied score, Spicer claimed that he didn’t feel immense pressure due to the trust he had in his teammates: “I just go out there and play and do my job and do the best I can for the team. I have a lot of faith in those guys.”
Tom Wilson is a sports reporter for the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette. If you have any comments or story tips, you can reach him at 740-689-5150 or via email at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @twil2323.
This article originally appeared on the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette: On to the Elite 8: Fairfield Union edges Marietta in regional semifinal
Michael Johnson is your soccer guru, providing extensive coverage of soccer. With a global perspective, he delivers match reports, player interviews, and insights into the beautiful game, ensuring readers stay connected to the world of soccer.