The boys soccer game between Jackson and Hoover for the Federal League title ended in a 0-0 draw Tuesday night

NORTH CANTON  Nothing settled and yet something was gained. The Jackson boys soccer team battled Hoover to a 0-0 draw on Tuesday night. The result means that the Polar Bears (9-1-5, 4-0-2) and Vikings (10-1-2, 4-0-2) will share the Federal League title.

It is the second straight year that Jackson has earned a share of the Federal League title and the second time in three years that Hoover has earned a share.

"I told coach (Michael) Biros beforehand that I was just hoping for a great game," Hoover head coach Neil Baasten said of his counterpart. "I think we had that. Both teams played hard and had chances. When we got down to the final two minutes, I was thinking that I would almost hate to see somebody score because I think this is a fair result."

The game was even throughout. Hoover had eight shots on goal while Jackson had five. The Polar Bears managed four corner kicks while Hoover had two.

Both teams looked dominant at times. The Vikings started the game strong and managed five shots in the first 15 minutes.

"They really took it to us early in the first half," Jackson's Biros said. "They created some good opportunities. We had to weather that storm and make some adjustments."

Those adjustments resulted in Jackson creating the majority of its quality scoring opportunities at the end of the first and second halves.

"We had to withstand a lot of pressure in those situations," Baasten said. "They really were coming after us."

On of Jackson's best scoring opportunities came with 26 seconds remaining on the clock. A crossing pass into the midfield found an open shooter but the shot sailed just over the top of the crossbar.

"We had a few of those tonight," Biros said. "That's kind of been the story of our season. We make the right pass and take the right shot but it doesn't seem to fall for us. We just have to work on closing out on those opportunities."

Though nothing was settled on Tuesday this was a possible district final preview.

"We have some work to do before we get to that," Biros said. "It's hard to project the postseason for anybody. I will say that both teams are playing really well right now."

That's something both teams can agree on.

"I'm really happy for this team," Baasten said. "They really play as a unit. They work hard and they practice hard. One of our goals this season was to win the Federal League championship and they were able to do that."

Things are trending up for Jackson as well.

"We are getting healthy," Biros said. "We are getting our guys back to 100 percent. We have really improved as the season has gone on. There is a night and day difference from where we are now to where we were at the beginning of the year."

That doesn't mean that there wasn't a bit of a lingering sense of unfinished business for each team.

"I'm sure the kids will be happy later," Biros said. "Right now I think they are a bit disappointed. They really wanted to win."

Perhaps the answer as to which team is truly better will be revealed. Soon.

Reach Cliff at 330-580-8494


On Twitter: @chickmanREP