MADISON TOWNSHIP — Madison has been down this path before.
For Rocky River, it’s been a while.
The Rams and Pirates will meet in the Division II regional semifinals at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Brunswick High School. Madison (15-1-4) is making its third straight regional appearance while Rocky River (13-5-1) is in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2013.
“The other day we talked about what they have and where they can go and they don’t realize it,” Madison coach Zac Huff said of Madison’s unprecedented three-year run. “Once you start having a losing season you’re like, ‘I wish I had those years back.’
“They just don’t realize it and they won’t realize it until they are my age.”
The Rams punched their ticket to the regional with a 4-3 win over Richland County rival Ontario in the district finals. All-American Taylor Huff and Chesney Davis each scored a pair of goals during a Saturday afternoon deluge at Lexington High School.
“It’s awesome,” Taylor Huff said. “This year was the hardest for us to win again because after winning it two years in a row, we came in with a huge X on our back. Everyone was gunning for us.
“I am so proud of us all.”
Rocky River advanced with a 2-1 win over Medina Buckeye at North Ridgeville High School. Maya Patti and Samantha Miller scored goals in the 10th and 12th minutes, respectively, to erase a 1-0 deficit.
The Pirates have won six straight and have outscored three playoff opponents by a combined score of 17-1. Rocky River has scored 69 goals on the season while surrendering just 16.
Madison has outscored its four tournament opponents 28-3.
“We found the back of the net and we actually have more opportunities,” said Taylor Huff, the University of Tennessee recruit who has 29 goals and 22 assists on the season. “We had more shots and we should have finished a lot more.”
Davis scored her fourth and fifth goals of the season in the win over Ontario.
“They were man-marking me so for her to step up was amazing,” Taylor Huff said. “I’m so proud of her.”
A win Tuesday would send Madison into Saturday’s regional championship match against either Celina or Oak Harbor. The Bulldogs and Rockets meet Tuesday at Findlay High School.
“We’re excited to be going back to the regional tournament, but I don’t think the girls are satisfied,” Zac Huff said. “It’s something along the way to get to where we want to go.”