Thanks to a hot start, Westlake staved off Bay in a 6-5 victory at home in a regional qualifying game of the OHSAA Division II, Region 5 tournament. The Demons (10-6) advance to a regional quarterfinal against CVCA on May 17.
Westlake senior Steve Brewer scored a hat trick, and teammate Wyatt Solecki potted a pair.
“My teammates were able to move the ball well,” Brewer said. “In the past couple games, we struggled to move the ball and my coach challenged us to move the ball well tonight and it opened up open shots for me.”
Protecting a 6-4 lead heading into the fourth quarter, Bay added pressure when Chris Eifert scored a goal with 6:41 remaining. But from there, Demons goalkeeper Brandon Hohman stood tall, fending off a few desperation shots by the Rockets down the stretch, and Westlake survived.
The first half went Westlake’s way, with Brewer scoring with 4:39 in the first, assisted from Carter Bednar. Bednar wound up leaving the game with an injury in the third quarter.
Solecki scored the next two for Westlake in the second quarter, and sophomore Matt Toner added another with 16.8 seconds remaining in the half and Westlake led, 4-0.
“Last time we played these guys, we came out pretty slow and were down at halftime,” Brewer added. “So our coach challenged us to come out fast because we know when we play well, we can beat anybody. We made it our game.”