COLUMBUS — Senior forward Dominic Calabrese stole a Medina pass deep in Bees territory, then dished off to Ryan Bernt on the right side, who kicked in a powerful shot for the winning goal to give the Beavercreek Beavers the Division I state championship win, 1-0 in double overtime, at MAPFRE Stadium.
“It is unreal. I just can’t believe it,” said Bernt while being mobbed by teammates and fans after the match. “I just saw it coming and tried to put it into the back of the net, that’s all I can say. All I can say.”
Beavercreek wins its first state title after its third try. The Beavers played in the state title match in 1990 and 2008. Assistant coach Jason Guiliano played on that 1990 team. And two of the players on this team are sons of two other 1990 state championship runners-up, who were in the stands.
“I’m still kind of in shock,” Jason Guiliano said. “To be so close as many times as we have been, and for my father. We just haven’t been able to get over the hump. I told the boys before the match that they weren’t playing for themselves tonight. They were playing for each other as well as all the alumni, all the supporters, the entire Beavercreek community.
“This is a trophy for everybody in Beavercreek and all the people that played and had been a part of the program. This is their night, and these boys just represented that.”
Beavercreek finishes the season undefeated at 22-0-2.
John Guiliano, in his 29th year as the head coach, said the 2017 team was very special to him.
“It’s too bad we’re done practicing,” he said. “Just their whole attitude. They come into practice focused, they work hard. A lot of these kids put their own personal goals aside. It makes a big difference.”
John cradled the state championship trophy and never let go of it while the team was still on the field. He walked off the MAPFRE Stadium turf with the championship trophy still tucked under his arm.
We’ll have a more detailed account of Saturday’s championship win in Tuesday’s editions of the Fairborn Daily Herald and Xenia Gazette newspapers. Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.