BAY VILLAGE — In a preview of a Great Lakes Conference matchup next season, the Buckeye boys soccer team found out Bay is every bit as good as its r￩sum￩.
The top-seeded Rockets welcomed the fourth-seeded Bucks to Bay Memorial Stadium on Tuesday and knocked them out of the postseason for the second season in a row, this time 4-0 in an Elyria Division II District semifinal.
Bay (15-1-2) advanced to play Saturday against second-seeded Rocky River (14-1-2), which beat third-seeded Fairview 2-0, at a site to be determined.
“They’re insanely good,” Buckeye midfielder Tyler Miranda said. “When you look at that team, that’s the type of team you should aspire to be.
“They have every aspect. They’re physical. They’re definitely the quickest team we ever played. They’re incredibly good technically. They’ve just got great players and great individual talent. It all molds together to make a crazy unit of players.”
The Bucks (13-4-1) learned what the Rockets’ No. 1 ranking in the state coaches poll was about, as six-time time reigning district champion Bay will try to reach its fourth state final in the last five seasons. The Rockets have 28 district titles and 17th regional crowns.
Bay also is riding a 14-game winning streak and has a 16-1-2 record in its last 19 home games.
“They’re that good,” Buckeye coach Joe Serio said. “They can find target players on the field. They move very well without the ball. They are consistent in their passing and in their methodology. The reason why they’re a state perennial power is because they do the little things and play outstanding fundamental ball. They’re just a fantastic club.”
Cade Gergye also showed how incredible he is.
The first-team All-Ohio forward struck a perfectly placed left-footed shot in the upper 90 to put the Rockets on the board 15 minutes in. He struck again 6:01 later.
“He’s tall, and he’s strong to the ball,” Buckeye keeper Zach Ridler said of the 6-foot-3 Gergye. “He’s fast. He’s got a great shot. He comes off the ball really well and has a great touch.”
Coming off a junior season in which he had 23 goals and 16 assists (62 points), Gergye has 25 goals and 29 assists (79 points). He has 58 goals and 55 assists (171) in his career, earning him looks from Dayton, Xavier, Ohio State and Bowling Green.
“He’s special,” Bay coach Bobby Daugherty said. “We describe him in one word. He’s the fixer. He makes everything better.”
While a team can come back from two-goal deficit, Matt DeCapua’s tally with 11:46 left did in the Bucks.
“I told the guys at halftime a two-goal lead isn’t out of reach, but if we gave up anymore, it was going to be out of reach,” Miranda said. “It’s unfortunate that it happened.”
The Bucks will lose four-year starter Ridler, Miranda (20 goals, 5 assists, 45 points) and Eddie Greer (9, 2, 20) to graduation, among others.
“I have no doubt that the guys that have learned and experienced what we have in the last couple of years will take that experience and apply it and move forward to help the other guys below them to play with a sense of confidence,” Serio said.
Bay 4, Buckeye 0
Elyria Division II District Semifinal
BUCKEYE 0 0 — 0
BAY 2 2 — 4
Ba — Cade Gergye, 25:33.
Ba — Gergye (Aidan Bozak), 19:32.
Ba — Matt DeCapua, 11:46.
Ba — Kyle Cusimano (Tommy Ferrara), 7:29.
Shots on goal — Buckeye 4, Bay 17. Corner kicks — Buckeye 2, Bay 4. Saves — Zach Ridler (Bu) 13, Kevin Linder (Ba) 4. Records — Buckeye (13-4-1), Bay (15-1-2).