WARSAW - The deck was stacked against the Beavers from the beginning, and it proved to be too much to overcome in the end.
The Dover boys' soccer team scored two goals in each half en route to a 4-0 victory over Beaver Local Wednesday night at River View High School in an Ohio Division II Eastern District Co-Final.
With the loss, the Beavers end the season at 11-8, meaning Beaver Local ended up one game short of advancing to the Sweet 16.
Beaver Local’s Jon Tomilson (21) defends against a Dover player during action Wednesday in a Division II District game at River View High School in Warsaw. (Photo by Aaron Petchal)
"We had plenty of opportunities," first-year Beaver Local head coach Mike Hilliard said. "We just couldn't finish."
With the win, the Tornadoes improve to 13-0-6 on the season. Dover will now play Minerva in the Region 7 Semifinals.
The odds where in the favor of the Tornadoes from the start of the game, and Dover capitalized on its opportunities to win the game.
The Tornadoes definitely outmanned the Beavers. Dover had multiple substitutes to use throughout the game, while Beaver Local played with just 11 players. The Beavers began the game with 11 players on the field, but they didn't end the game that way.
Beaver Local played the final 33:16 a man down when Jon Tomlinson was forced to leave the game with an injury. The Beavers also played multiple minutes two-men down due to injuries and a goalie change. Beaver Local played the final 1:22 of the game with just nine players on the pitch.
"They gave it their all," Hilliard said. "Having 11 players is not an excuse, but I think it finally caught up to us. Give Dover credit. Dover is a decent team. Give Dover credit for the win.
"We had chances, but we just couldn't finish."
The victory gave the Tornadoes some revenge against the Beavers. Beaver Local defeated Dover, 1-0, in the district co-final last year to advance to the regional semifinals.
Offensively for Dover, Charlie Deeds delivered two goals an assist, and Felipe Bravo and Christian Randazzo each recorded a goal and an assist.
Matt Pleshing made seven saves in goal for the Tornadoes.
Beaver Local used two goalies in the game. Brandon Fetty finished the game with four saves. Fetty was replaced in the second half by Chase Hilliard, who made two saves.
Beaver Local advanced to the district co-final by defeating Indian Creek and Steubenville in the sectional tournament at Harding Stadium in Steubenville.
The game against Beaver Local was Dover's third-straight game at River View. The Tornadoes played both of their sectional games on the home field of the Black Bears.
The field at River View is grass, while the field at Harding Stadium is turf.
While Dover had a short trip to the field, Beaver Local had to travel more than two hours to their destination in Coshocton County.
The Tornadoes took the early lead in the game. Dover got on the scoreboard with a goal with 36:51 left to play in the first half.
Dover had the early momentum, but Beaver Local was far from done.
A little more than five minutes later, a Dover defender was called for a tackle from behind within the penalty box resulting in a penalty kick for the Beavers.
Chase Hilliard lined up to take the kick.
The referee blew his whistle, and Hilliard stepped up and took the kick. Hilliard's shot beat Pleshing to tie the score at 1.
Following the goal call with 31:30 left to play in the first half, Dover's head coach ran down the field yelling that Pleshing was not ready. Moments later, the referee visited with the assistant referee on the far side of the field.
After a discussion, the referee disallowed the goal.
Hilliard was given another shot, but this time his shot sailed harmlessly over the goal to keep the score 1-0.
"The penalty kick changed the momentum of the game, but it was early in the game," Coach Hilliard said. "We had plenty of time to regroup."
Later, Dover extended its lead to 2-0 with 16:56 left to play in the first half.
"I am disappointed for the team, the seniors especially," Coach Hilliard said.
In the second half, the Tornadoes tallied goals with 32:04 and 20:31 left to play in the game to account for the final margin of victory.
"The seniors have meant a lot to the program," Coach Hilliard said. "We are going to miss their leadership. We are going to miss their knowledge. All of the underclassmen looked up to them."
Though the Beavers are losing a good group of seniors, Beaver Local ill return some talented players.
"I think we will be all right number-wise," Coach Hilliard said. "I'm hoping to have at least 13. We will be able to field a team.
"We will have a good-solid core of players next year. We will have to replace the seniors."