The Lakeview boys soccer team is back in a familiar position tonight, as the Bulldogs will play in a Division II regional semifinal against Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy at 7 at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School.
The winner will advance to play either Alliance or University School for the regional championship Saturday at noon at Nordonia High School.
"It feels great," Lakeview coach Nate Mailach said. "It's something we've been working toward right after we lost last year. It was our goal to get back to that game and redeem ourselves a little bit."
Tribune Chronicle / Dave Dermer
Lakeview’s Austin Olbrych, right, and Colton Ainsley (7) celebrate after Olbrych’s goal against Cardinal Mooney in theDivision II Youngstown district final. The Bulldogs play in a Division II regional semifinal tonight against CVCA.
Lakeview suffered a 2-0 loss to Revere in last season's regional semifinal. A victory tonight would advance the Bulldogs farther in the tournament than they ever have been before.
CVCA (12-6) has had an up-and-down season, with a three-game losing streak in the middle of the campaign before getting hot at the right time.
The Royals defeated Buckeye (5-1), Archbishop Hoban (2-1) and Revere (2-0) to advance to the regional semifinal.
"We got a pretty good scouting report from a reliable source," Mailach said. "They play similar to our style with a little more possession than what we're used to. They have good speed on top. It's a pretty even matchup."
Lakeview has had the best season in school history in 2012. The Bulldogs are 18-1, with only a 2-1 defeat to Champion their only blemish. They have scored 114 goals this season (an average of six per game, with five games scoring 10-plus) and only allowed 10 for the entire year.
"Our stats are ridiculous this year," Mailach said. "I'm sure we've broken every school record possible. We've only allowed more than one goal once and that was in our only loss."
The powerful Lakeview offense is led by Colton Ainsley, who has 39 goals on the season. Jake Young has 20 goals with 15 assists and Matt Pasternak adds 14 goals and 23 assists.
Defensively, goalkeeper Clay Becker has had to make only 42 saves all season.
"Colton Ainsley hopefully continues the hot streak he's on right now," Mailach said. "He has 39 goals and I know he would like to get 40 plus tomorrow. Sophomore Matt Pasternak has been playing well. He and Jake Young really need to control the midfield for us to have a chance. AJ Miller is one of my senior captains and he's going to have to play a pretty big role tomorrow."
Miller said he feels the season has gone very well taking into account the team was hit hard by graduation.
"I feel it's been a great season considering a lot of people didn't expect us to be so hot," he said. "I give a lot of credit to coach Mailach keeping our heads straight. We don't have the talent we had last year. He drove it into our heads if we work hard we can do what they did.
"(The game against CVCA) can go either way. From here on out every team anybody plays is going to be good. With the weather, it's anybody's game."