CHILLICOTHE — Entering a regional semifinal round where all four teams combined for zero losses, Tippecanoe handed out one of the first two.
The Red Devil boys soccer team manhandled previously-undefeated Marietta Wednesday night at Chillicothe High School, dominating the Division II regional semifinal 5-1 and advancing to the regional championship match for the third time in the past four years.
Tippecanoe (20-0-1), which won its ninth straight, will take on Cincinnati Wyoming in the regional final. Wyoming (19-0-1) handed Monroe (17-1-2) its first loss of the season Wednesday night in a 1-0 regional semifinal win. Tippecanoe and Wyoming finished the regular season tied for No. 2 in the final D-II state poll.
And Wednesday night, the Devils wasted no time at all.
With 35:05 remaining in the first half, Ben Sauls blasted home a left-footed shot to give Tippecanoe an early lead. Marietta’s defense held up under intense pressure for the rest of the half, though — until Keaton Jackson redirected in a cross with 2:46 left on the clock to give the Devils a 2-0 halftime lead.
Tippecanoe struck again early in the second as Sauls redirected in a corner kick by Jake Rowland to give the Devils a 3-0 lead with 34:49 left in the game. Shortly after that, Jackson added his second goal of the night by jamming in a rebound to make the score 4-0 with 32:37 to play. And with 18:50 on the clock, Blake Heeley knocked a shot between Marietta’s goalie’s legs to make it five unanswered goals. Marietta finally got on the board wit 17:47 to play on a third-chance rebound, but by then it was all but over.
Sauls and Jackson each scored two goals to lead the Devils, Heeley added one goal and Rowland, Andrew Baileys and Jake Smith each had one assist.
Saturday’s game will mark Tippecanoe’s first regional final appearance since 2017 — last year, the Devils lost to eventual state champion Summit Country Day in the regional semifinal round. In both 2016 and 17, the Devils lost to Alter in the regional final, with the Knights going on to win a state title in 2016.
Tippecanoe’s regional final against Wyoming will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday at Xenia’s Doug Adams Stadium.
Contact Troy Daily News Sports Editor Josh Brown at email@example.com, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.
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