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Sudden victory for St. C.

Stout’s golden goal lifts Red Devils by New Philly, 2-1

ST. CLAIRSVILLE senior Caden Stout controls the ball during Tuesday night’s Division II Eastern District 1, Region VII boys’ soccer tournament semifinal on the artificial pitch inside Wagner Field in Cadiz. Stout scored the golden-goal as the Red Devils defeated New Philadelphia, 2-1, to advance to Saturday’s championship game against River View at John Glenn High School in New Concord.

CADIZ — Eighty minutes of action couldn’t decide a winner in Tuesday night’s Division II Eastern District 1, Region VII boys’ soccer tournament semifinal between St. Clairsville and New Philadelphia on the artificial pitch inside wind-filled and down-right-cold Wagner Field in Cadiz.

However, Caden Stout gave the third-seeded Red Devils (16-3) a thrilling, 2-1, victory with the golden goal in the fourth minute of sudden-death overtime to propel them into Saturday mornings championship match against No. 1 Warsaw River View, which defeated seventh-seeded John Glenn, 3-1. The match begins at 11 a.m.

“We’ve talked all year about trusting each other. In the biggest game of the year, I’m sitting there wide open and everyone was trusting me to put it (the ball) in the net,” Stout said of his game-winner. “It’s unbelievable.”

St. Clairsville head coach Jeff Roberts agreed.

“Oh man, that was a game. That was exciting to watch,” he admitted. “It was a tale of two halves for us. We couldn’t get anything going in the first half, but we started pushing the tempo in the second half. We’ve been conditioning since June and the guys never got tired.”

The Red Devils dominated the sixth-seeded Quakers (6-7-4) for the majority of the second half, but the Tuscarawas County squad broke a scoreless deadlock in the 51st minute. Simon Pugh pounded home a rebound through a scrum of players that St. Clairsville goalkeeper Shane Jackson never saw. Elliott Warner logged the assist.

“There was nothing Shane could do about that,” Roberts said. “It was unfortunate, but he stayed focused and played great after that.”

St. Clairsville drew even in the 60th minute when Nate Thornburg sent a nice feed from deep on the left side across the crease to Jack Gasber, and the senior did the rest. Gasber one-timed the pass into the back of the net.

“That was a beautiful cross from Nate and Jack just happened to be there to finish it off,” Roberts recalled of the game-tying net-finder. “Jack had just about got knocked out five minutes earlier when he took a shot to the head, but he bounced back and got us back in the game.”

The Red Devils continued to press the issue and peppered New Philadelphia goalkeeper Nathanial Demuth with three scoring chances in the final four minutes of regulation. They kept the momentum in their favor during the 15-minute sudden-death session until Stout ended things with one big blast from his right leg.

“Caden always seems to come through in the clutch,” Roberts said of his 4-year regular. “He has a tendency sometimes to put the team on his back and that’s what he did tonight.”

Gasber was credited with the assist on the game-winner.

“These guys have done this all season,” Roberts said. “Whenever we need a big goal, someone steps up. Tonight it was Caden.

“I couldn’t be any prouder of this group of guys.”

Jackson finished with seven saves while Demuth charted 10.

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