D2 State Semifinal Barberton H.S.
#5 Lexington vs #9 Howland
Tigers Late Goal Ends Lexington's
State Tournament Run
A second half Howland rally ended Lexington's state title run in the Division II Final Four, knocking out the Minutemen 3-2 at Barberton High School.
Lexington hadn't allowed a team to score more than one goal on them all season, but would spot the Tigers their first goal just over four minutes into the match when keeper Kaleb Rinehart injured his thumb during a save attempt on a deep shot into the corner of the net from Austin Stassinis, forcing him to leave for the rest of the game. The Minutemen's clutch performer throughout the postseason would then deliver the equalizer at the 14:06 mark, as Gavin George had the match tied 1-1 at the half.
It would be #5 Lexington would hung a goal on the board early in the seond half, though, with Trevor Fehr putting the purple and gold up 2-1 with less than four minutes gone by in the stanza. Peter Lerakis later squared things up at the 21:45 mark on a rebound following a pair of saves by Trevor Cramer.
There would be few clean offensive looks on the net for the remainder of the game until the closing minutes when Stassinis found himself with space in front of the net for a one-timer that found the back of the net to punch #9 Howland's first ever ticket to the State Championship by scoring the game-winning goal with just 2:41 remaining.
The unbeaten Tigers (21-0-1) will face #2 Tipp City Tippecanoe (22-0-1) for the D2 state title.
Lexington finishes their season as Regional Champions at 21-2-0. They will say goodbye to 10 seniors.