COLUMBUS — Sometimes you just have to pay respect and know you gave it everything you could.
No one will forget the run the Revere boys soccer team made to the Division II state final on Saturday.
Unfortunately for the Minutemen, they were on the wrong side of a 4-0 win by Cincinnati Summit Country Day.
“That’s a great team right there,” Revere forward Sandor Jakab said. “They deserved it. They were the better team today. They’re just together everywhere throughout the field. They have good players, play together well and know how to score goals.”
Revere (17-3-3) finished higher than the Silver Knights (16-6) in the final state coaches poll, but history was definitely on the side of Country Day.
The Silver Knights became the first team to win four consecutive state titles regardless of division. They set a state record with their 29th consecutive tournament victory and they’re now one state title away from tying Cleveland St. Ignatius (eight) for the state lead.
They also tied a Division II record for most goals in a game.
Not bad for a team that won its previous six titles at the Division III level.
“Their movement off the ball, they just know where each other is before they even get it,” Revere midfielder Omar Najjar said. “It’s really tough to stop their movements. It’s pretty incredible, actually.”
Experience got to the Minutemen, who have finished runner-up two of the past three years.
Revere returned starter Trent Rorabaugh from its 2016 squad and had three other starters who played in the state final two seasons ago, but Country Day was loaded with experience from last season’s state final.
Of its starting 11, nine played in last year’s state final.
Of those nine, five started, including Doug Simpson, who scored twice, and Colby Gordon (one goal).
The final goal came from Eli Rawlings, who also played in last season’s final.
The pomp and circumstance wasn't too big for Revere, but the fact it seemed like Country Day's second home was MAPFRE Stadium certainly helped the Silver Knights.
“That’s huge because oftentimes people get caught up in the lights,” Jakab said. “They’re not able to play their game because they’re paying attention to everyone else.”
When the Silver Knights weren’t getting it done offensively, a solid defense was shutting down the Minutemen.
It made an easy afternoon for Ethan Carr as Davis Whiting, Evan Hunt, Graham Nicholson and Kendall Hamilton stayed poised and thwarted any attack Najjar, Jakab, Joey Klein or Andrew Cooke could muster for Revere.
Carr faced just three shots on goal and saved them all with Jack Gerdsen making a save as well.
The first goal might have been the dagger when Simpson scored on a direct kick from 24 yards. The bender found the near post on the left side just 4:49 into the game.
“We went down one and had to chase the game,” Revere coach Nick DePompei said. “I felt like with those chances, it changed the game. I honestly think that our boys played pretty well. [Goal] one and four will look the same in our locker room when we look at the tape. It forced us into a situation we don’t like to be in. We had to make some sacrifices and go for some stuff that we typically wouldn’t do.”
The bad news for the Minutemen is that first-team all-district selection Sam York and first-team All-Ohio selection Jakab won’t be back next season.
The team also loses starters Dante Pardi, Sam Webster and Najjar, but will return a nucleus that very well could find its way back to Columbus next season.
“Every year, this is what we do,” DePompei said. “I’m excited to take on another year.”