By John Bombatch
XENIA — Carroll coach Scott Molfenter said he knew his team would be in a dogfight on Monday night, and Tipp City Tippecanoe didn’t disappoint.
On a second-half counter attack with just over three minutes left to go in the match, Tippecanoe’s Andrew DeBrosse got behind Carroll’s defense and sort of half-lobbed a kick that sailed over a Patriots defender and their goalie, and just under the crossbar to give the Red Devils a 1-0 Division II sectional win, Monday night at Doug Adams Stadium.
Tippecanoe coach Scott Downing said a Dayton sectional match against either Carroll or Kettering Alter was usually his team’s “going home night.” But not this time.
Downing said he’s known Carroll’s Molfenter since the Patriots’ mentor was a coach at West Milton Milton-Union and Downing was still a Tippecanoe player. Downing has been coaching at Tipp since 2005; this is his first time to lead the Red Devils to a sectional crown.
“They have a wonderful program over there. And Scott’s done a wonderful job. … Just to get out of the sectionals in Dayton is a tough thing to do,” Downing said.
Molfenter was gracious in defeat.
“They’d only lost one game all year. They were 16-1-1 coming into this, so we knew they were a pretty good team,” he said. “They are a well-coached team and they play hard. I thought we had the better of the chances, but that’s soccer. You can have the ball all night, but you can give one up and that’ll cost you.”
Tipp City is now 17-1-1, and Monday’s sectional win was the team’s 14th shutout of the season. Goalie Jacob Franke was credited with this one.
DeBrosse was playing in just his 10th game of the season, but he leads the team in scoring and is third in the entire Greater Western Ohio Conference with 18 goals and seven assists.
Carroll ends its season with a 15-2-1 record.
The Patriots’ best shots at a score all came in the second half. Nicholas Gross took a rebound shot off a Sean Dosedel scoring try with 34:47 left to play, but Gross’s shot sailed wide of the right post.
Carroll fans let out a bit of a sarcastic cheer with 27 minutes to go. That’s when a Carroll player fired a long-range shot that plunked off the Adams Stadium football goal post and came down in front of the Red Devils’ goal. Junior forward Chris Moon knocked the ball into the net, but the play was whistled dead by then.
A minute later, Armando Campos-Ortiz got off a shot from the left side, but Franke was there to make a diving save.
Perhaps the best scoring try came with 19:55 left to go. Senior Eric Watson made the throw-in to fellow senior Dylan Tilt who banged a headshot toward the Tipp goal. The ball clanged off the crossbar, however, and the Red Devils defense kicked the ball out of harm’s way.
Carroll had one last chance to score with 4.3 seconds left to play. They emptied their net and had a man advantage with a direct kick from 45 yards out, but a shot try by the Patriots’ Charlie Thompson sailed just wide to the right and out of bounds.
Carroll loses six seniors — Mekhi Jones, Max Haney, Watson, Gross, Tilt and Cameron Najarian.
Tippecanoe advances to play the winner of the Cincinnati 2 sectional bracket — either Cincinnati Wyoming or Mount Orab Western Brown. That match will be played at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27 at Lakota West High School in West Chester.