By Chris Chaney
Coming into the second round of the boys’ sectional tournament, Clermont County had a lot of reasons to be happy.
Milford, Clermont Northeastern, Batavia, New Richmond and Felicity were all alive with winnable games on the horizon.
Unfortunately for Milford, CNE, Felicity and Batavia, those games turned out to end in their opponents favor, ending their seasons.
Milford squared off with a strong Lakota West team on Thursday, Oct. 18. The Eagles, seeded No. 17 in the Division I sectional, had their hands full with the No. 2-seeded Firebirds.
Lakota West was coming off of an impressive regular season that saw the go 15-1-2 overall and 7-1-1 in the Greater Miami Conference, which put them in second place behind top-seeded Mason.
The Eagles, on the other hand, were just 5-11-2 on the season, finishing in the middle of the pack in the inaugural season of the Eastern Cincinnati Conference.
Milford took care of business in their first-round matchup with Anderson, winning 3-0, but were unable to string together that momentum as the Firebirds ended their season following a 4-0 victory.
For the Rockets of Clermont Northeastern, they drew a tough match up with the top-seeded Division II team, Indian Hill.
The Rockets finished the Southern Buckeye Season 3-5 and 3-13 overall, while the Braves came into the matchup sporting an 11-5-1 record.
Clermont Northeastern ended up being out-played by the Braves, losing 10-0 to put a capper on their season.
Similar to the fate of Clermont Northeastern, Felicity drew the top seed in Division III in their first sectional matchup.
Madeira, who had beaten Indian Hill earlier in the season 7-0, was the Cardinals opponent. The Mustangs ran through the Cincinnati Hills League with a mark of 7-0 and finished the regular season a perfect 16-0-1.
The Cardinals were unable to put up much of a fight against the Mustangs, losing 11-0.
Finally, the Batavia Bulldogs found themselves in a second-round matchup with McNicholas, the No. 3 seed. The Bulldogs advanced to play the Rockets by virtue of a 4-1 win over Southern Buckeye Conference foe Norwood in the first round.
McNicholas received a bye and had the luxury of waiting until Oct. 18 before playing in their first game of the postseason.
The two teams had met previously this season with McNicholas routing the Bulldogs 10-3. Head coach Kevin Scheel was confident prior to the matchup that the Bulldogs would fare much better than the first time the two teams met up.
“We did not get a good result the first time around, but a few injuries happened during that game and we didn’t respond well,” he said. “It will definitely be a much closer game, but also one of our harder battles.”
Scheel was dead-on as the Bulldogs fought hard, but eventually fell 2-0 to end their 2012 campaign.
The last Clermont team standing was the New Richmond Lions. The 10-4-3 Lions got all the way to the sectional final by virtue of a second-round win over No. 7-seeded Finneytown, 2-0.
While the win was good for team morale, the Lions moved on to face the same McNicholas team that defeated conference rival Batavia.
The lone team to make it to the second week of the sectional tournament as well as the only team to represent Clermont County in a sectional final, New Richmond went down early to McNicholas in the first half and were unable to mount a comeback, falling to the Rockets by a final of 4-0.
With all the boys’ soccer season finished up, the postseason awards should be announced soon by both the SBC and ECC.