By Jeff Wallner, Enquirer contributor
About the only thing Mason’s boys soccer team didn’t gain from Tuesday night’s scoreless tie at Lakota West was a victory. The tie earned the Comets their second consecutive Greater Miami Conference championship, and a stern challenge from the Firebirds also could prove beneficial for them in the postseason.
“To survive a battle like this will help us,” said Comets coach Paul Reedy. “You’re going to have games likes this late in the season. Inevitably it’s going to happen. We accomplished our major regular season goal which was to win the conference.”
Mason, ranked No. 1 in both the Enquirer Division I coaches’ poll and state poll, and Lakota West, ranked No. 3 in the Enquirer poll, finished deadlocked after 80 minutes.
It’s been a tightly-contested matchup in recent years with Mason winning six of 11 regular season and postseason meetings since 2005.
That Tuesday night’s match was a tight, low-scoring affair came as no surprise. The only goal Mason has allowed this season was on Sept. 12 at Hamilton. Lakota West has allowed only five goals.
“They’re really, really good,” said Firebirds coach Rick Cooper of Mason. “We had better opportunities in the second half. But we were able to hold on.”
The Firebirds missed a scoring chance in the game’s first minute when Evan Miller fired a shot just left of goal.
Mason (13-0-1) got its first shot on goal at the 24-minute mark of the first half, but Jack Clark’s shot sailed high. Moments later, Comets junior Jude Iroh caromed a shot off the right post.