BROADVIEW HEIGHTS: Revere senior Brian Gillette continued his dream soccer season on varsity Wednesday night.
Gillette, who mostly played junior varsity last year, scored three goals on a rainy and windy evening to lead Revere to a 4-3 victory over rival Bay Village Bay in a Division II state semifinal on the pitch at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School.
Gillette’s three goals coupled with one goal from senior Nolan Dyko advance Revere (20-0-2) to the state final at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Columbus Crew Stadium. Revere will play Columbus Bishop Watterson, a 2-1 overtime winner over Cincinnati Indian Hill.
“This is an amazing experience and we are going to keep pushing,” Gillette said. “This will definitely stick with me for the rest of my life. This is a big memory.”
Dyko gave Revere a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute with a header from about 10 yards away following a pass from senior Brandon Taylor that covered around 40 yards in the air. Bay junior goalkeeper Colin Southerington emerged to try to catch the ball, but Dyko jumped high to head the ball into the net while his body was facing away from the goal.
“My job was just to run to the middle and cause mayhem, and, thankfully, Brandon played the ball right where I was and I was able to flick it behind me,” Dyko said.
He celebrated scoring the goal with a headfirst slide on the wet synthetic turf.
“That headfirst slide left a mark [on my hip] actually,” Dyko said. “In hindsight, that probably wasn’t a great idea, but I just got caught up in the moment. I felt great.”
Gillette came through for Revere’s next three goals to give him seven in five playoff matches and 13 total for the season. His first goal came in the 27th minute off a crossing pass from Dyko to give the Minutemen a 2-0 lead going into halftime.
“The only way this is possible is hard work, and that is what I tried to do,” Gillette said.
Gillette’s second goal made it 3-0 in the 51st minute and came off a rebound of a save by Southerington. Revere senior Jordan Marich took the initial shot.
Bay senior Dillon Gundlach netted a goal in the 61st minute to cut Revere’s lead to 3-1, but Gillette completed his hat trick in the 64th minute with a goal off a pass from Marich.
“Brian Gillette has been our opportunistic, Johnny-on-the-spot guy,” Revere coach Sandor Jakab said. “He would be a starter on any other team. He is a senior leader who is unsung, but obviously look at what he did for us tonight.”
A lopsided match got close in the final two minutes courtesy of two goals by Bay (15-2-5). Senior Domenic Ruma blasted a line drive into the net in the 79th minute and junior Matt Comienski converted a penalty kick in the 80th minute. Comienski’s goal came with 17 seconds remaining, but Revere was able to hang on as the final whistle sounded and its students chanted “State, state, state, state, state, state, state everybody!”
“We knew what we had to do and we knew it was going to be a physical contest back-and-forth,” Jakab said. “Obviously, a game of opportunities, and tonight was ours. We made the most of those opportunities and we’re up 3-0. A little bit of complacency set in and you have to give Bay Village all the credit in the world. They didn’t give up. They put the first one in. They kept fighting and we got one and they kept fighting. They got the second one, which was a great hit and then that PK made it even more interesting.”
Revere senior goalkeeper Joel Gerberich finished with five saves.
“Hats off to them,” Bay coach Bobby Daugherty said. “Good luck to them and I hope they take care of it and get it done [at state]. I just want someone from the North to win at this point. I am real proud of both sides.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.