By matthew Peaslee
Three goals and three hours separated the Lakeview boys soccer team from reaching their goal for 2012.
“Our goal was to play into November,” head coach Nate Mailach said, “We were just a couple of hours short. We wanted to get that next game.”
The Bulldogs earned back-to-back district titles but this year ended like the last with a loss in the Division II regional semifinals. Last year, a 2-0 loss to Revere bounced them from the tournament.
On Wednesday, Lakeview was the victim of Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy. The Royals won, 4-1.
“We ran into a juggernaut,” Mailach said. “Those guys are as good as any team I’ve ever seen.”
CVCA (17-4) opened the scoring at the 28:38 mark of the first half with a goal by Ben Locke.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, Locke added another.
Within two minutes, Collin Surface pulled the Royals to a 3-0 lead.
“They’re fast,” Mailach said. “They got to every loose ball. Every ball they kicked seemed to end up on one of their players’ foot. It was like they had 13 guys out there. We couldn’t keep up with that.
“We didn’t really start playing until we were down 3-0; by then it was too little, too late.”
That’s when junior Austin Olbrych entered.
“As soon as I got in I was playing a little far up front,” Olbrych said. “And everybody just said to stay up there — it won’t hurt.”
Not long after, Colton Ainsley dribbled up and took a shot that bounced off the crossbar.
“He shoots the ball off the post and I’m right there to follow,” Olbrych said. “I was worried the goalie was going to stop it. I just kept following it. Once it hit the goalie’s hands I was praying a little bit. It hit the post and fell in.”
Olbrych then jumped, pumped his fist and shook his wet, shaggy brown hair.
“A little bit of rejoicing,” is how he put it.
Added Mailach, “It’s a bittersweet consolation. I’m proud of Austin.”
CVCA’s offensive schemes proved too much to handle again in the half when Tim Andrassy found Hayden Kaiser for another score.
The Royals took 16 shots compared to just five from the Bulldogs (18-2). CVCA also earned 12 corner kicks in the first half alone.
“They spread the field a lot and knew how to get out wide,” Olbrych said. “They did a lot of moving off the ball. They got the ball and passed it around a lot.
“Some of our guys were tired.”
Lakeview loses just five seniors and 17 impact players return in 2013.
“We’re working to get there,” Mailach said. “And we’ll be back. As long as we don’t have to come here to Brecksville anymore. It seems to be bad luck for us.”
Olbrych is excited for the future, too.
“We always scrimmage the JVs and its not easy playing against them,” he said. “We just have to keep moving forward and working with what we have to build some chemistry.”