By Dan Woodlock
Times-Junction Sports Editor
The Flashes' soccer team is becoming as resilient as the postal service.Neither rain, nor Tornadoes, were going to halt them from their destination Thursday night, as Willard officially put the stamp on their first-ever Sectional championship. Kevin Alejandro's go-ahead goal, just 18 seconds shy of the 50-minute mark, proved to be the decisive score, as the Flashes dropped Tiffin Columbian, 2-1, for the Sectional crown, at Tiffin's Frost-Kalnow Stadium. Alejandro found the net on the rebound, as a corner kick was deflected, but not controlled, by Tornadoes goalie Eric Schermer. Alejandro blasted in the loose ball for his sixth goal of the season. And most importantly, the Flashes' second on a night where scoring was tough to come by following heavy rains that fell in the early portion of the first half, along with a pair of defenses that were locked and ready. "Mission accomplished," said Willard Head Coach Ben Guerra. "We just want to find a way to keep going." The Flashes, now 13-5 on the season, struck first, 13 minutes and one-second into the match, as Argenis Guerra came through with his first goal of the season. His boot from well beyond 30 yards deflected off of a Columbian defender and shot past Schermer into the net for a 1-0 lead. Willard had a handful of scoring opportunities that just eluded them in the opening half. Two balls ticketed for the net were redirected by TC defenders in front of the goal, while another ball by the Flashes' Nelson Mazariegos just caught the post. The Tornadoes finally broke through with just 1:29 remaining in the first half. Marco Alonzo hit Kevin Miller on a cross pass and Miller deposited the ball into the net to tie the match, 1-1. Both teams remained tied at the break and remained so until Alejandro's clutch score just over nine minutes into the second half. "Our kids came back strong in the second half," said Guerra. "At the end of the first half, we started to lose some of their midfielders and it put us in some tough positions. But we started to control the ball better in the second half." Alonzo appeared to have scored with just 3:45 remaining in the match, but the officials ruled that the Tornadoes were offside. Fabian Ortega, Argenis Guerra and Matt McCormack were three backside defenders that helped clean things up on a number of occasions. "Those guys made big plays when we needed it," said Coach Guerra. "They came in and protected our goalie well." The win completed a three-game sweep of Columbian this season, following wins of 6-1 and 4-1 in the regular season. Willard earned a rematch against Lexington, who knocked the Flashes out of the tournament in the first round a year ago. The teams will match up in District play Monday at 5 p.m. at Clyde. "We know this is going to be tough," said Coach Guerra. "But we're going to be ready to play."