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Posted on 9/18/2019 3:34 p.m.

Moeller Gets Past St. Xavier; Elder Wins To Create Three-Way Tie

Freshman Charlie Niehaus scored with six minutes remaining to snap a 1-1 tie and give Moeller a 2-1 victory against St. Xavier before a massive crowd Tuesday night at the Xavier University Soccer Complex.  The outcome, combined with Elder’s 5-0 win against La Salle at the Panther Athletic Complex in the other Greater Catholic League South Division match last night, has Elder, Moeller and St. Xavier locked in a three-way tie for first place at the midway point of league play.

Moeller took a 1-0 lead in the first half, when senior Parker Grinstead scored on a through ball from senior Sam Hegge to take a 1-0 halftime advantage.  St. Xavier tied the score when junior Jason Steigerwald found fellow classmate John Schaeper, who found the net with 30 minutes remaining in the match.  Neihaus, one of six ninth-graders who have logged minutes for the Crusaders, scored the eventual game-winner to move his team into a three-way tie in the GCL South.  Moeller (7-1-2, 2-1-0 GCL South)) is ranked No. 5 in the latest Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association Division I state poll; St. Xavier (5-3-2, 2-1-0) lost for the first time in six matches.

Elder (8-2-0, 2-1-0) got goals from five different players to rebound from Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Sycamore that snapped the Panthers’ three-match winning streak – including a 2-1 win against Moeller one week earlier.  Senior Connor Ammon registered a goal and an assist; Elder also got goals from Mike Able, Cam Jansing, Carson Owens and Nathan Bill against La Salle (1-6-3, 0-3-0).  Ammon leads the GCL South in goals, with eight, and scoring, with 20 points.

Posted on 9/16/2019 at 12:36 p.m.

League Teams Finish With 3-1 Record, Prepare For League Tuesday

It was a near-perfect weekend for the Greater Catholic League South Division soccer teams, with Elder – just four days removed from its 2-1 win against two-time defending league champion Moeller – splitting a pair of matches Saturday and Sunday; St. Xavier – the current GCL South leader – traveling to Greater Columbus to keep its winning streak alive with a one-goal win; and Moeller – which has a 38-5-8 record the last two-plus seasons – getting back on track with a strong performance.  La Salle, the fourth GCL South team, had the weekend off.

Here is a quick look at the GCL South weekend:

Elder Splits Pair – One day after recording a 4-1 victory at Roger Bacon on Saturday afternoon, the Panthers returned home to the Panther Athletic Complex and were shut out by Sycamore, 1-0, in a match that was being made up after inclement weather forced it to be postponed on the day it was originally scheduled to be played..

Elder (7-2-0), which had won three straight matches after suffering its lone loss  this season to St. Xavier, 2-1, on a goal in the final seconds, got goals from four different players against Roger Bacon – seniors Cam Jansing, Carson Owens and Mike Abel, and junior Jacob Stiens.  Owens and Stiens each also added an assist, before the Panthers were held scoreless by Sycamore day later.  Up next for Elder is La Salle when the second third of GCL South play begins Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the PAC.

St. X Streak In Tact – Juniors John Schaeper and Isaiah Neal each scored a goal, and call-up Tanner Creech added a third to lead the Bombers to a 3-2 road victory against Dublin Coffman Saturday in Greater Columbus.  The win was the fifth straight for St. Xavier (5-2-2), which takes its streak into Tuesday’s meeting with Moeller at 7 p.m. at the Xavier University Soccer Complex.

The Bombers lead the GCL South standings at 2-0-0, with Elder and Moeller tied for second at 1-1-0.   Last season, the two teams tied, 1-1, in the first meeting and Moeller won the second match, 3-1.  Moeller won both times they played in 2017, while St. Xavier swept the series in 2016.

Moeller Celebrates Seniors – After suffering its first loss to a Greater Cincinnati team in two-plus seasons, a 2-1 defeat to Elder on Tuesday, Moeller started a new streak with a 3-1 win against Fairfield on Senior Night Saturday at the school’s Gerry Faust Athletic Complex.

Three seniors made the most of the celebration, too, with Parker Grinstead notched another assist to move him one away from tying the Crusaders’ all-time mark of 32, held by Scott Schaeper (1988-90).  He is currently second, tied with Greg Ruebusch (1992-95).  Senior Kade Tepe returns from an injury and managed to score a goal in limited time, while senior Jeremy Ryan scored his first varsity goal for Moeller (6-1-2).

Posted on 9/15/2019 at 10:10 a.m.

Elder, La Salle, St. Xavier Stay Unbeaten; Moeller Gets First Victory

It was a perfect Friday night for the Greater Catholic League South Division football teams, as Elder, La Salle and St. Xavier continued their impressive starts to remain undefeated by winning games against interstate opponents, while Moeller made up for being held scoreless in its first two games by scoring 40 points in the first half and 68 for the game on the way to posting its first win of the season.  As a result, the combined record of the four GCL South is now an impressive 10-2 after the first three weeks of the regular season.

Without question, Elder played the most exciting game Friday – a game that included 114 points, more than 1,000 yards total offense and a late score that gave the Panthers the win.  Senior quarterback Matthew Luebbe connected with senior tight end and Ohio State University recruit Joe Royer on a 23-yard touchdown pass with 1:36 remaining to erase a 54-52 deficit and give the Panthers a 60-54 victory against a talent-laden Clearwater Academy International from Clearwater, Fla. at The Pit in Price Hill.  Royer finished with a game-high six receptions for 106 yards and two scores, while Luebbe completed 14-of-22 passes for 226 yards and a season high four TD passes for Elder (3-0), which has scored 137 points in its three victories.

The Panthers, who also got a team-high 101 yards rushing in 26 attempts from senior Joseph Catania to go along with three receptions for 72 yards and two scores from sophomore Drew Ramsey, needed every yards to get past Clearwater Academy (2-1), which racked up 444 yards on 27 rushing attempts, good for 16.4 yards per carry, and finished with a total of 659 yards of total offense.  Ludov Choquette led the Knights’ ground game, carrying 14 times for 296 yards, including a 74-yard TD sprint on the final play of the third quarter that tied the score at 38-.  Choquette’s 36-yard TD run with just over four minutes remaining gave Clearwater Academy a 54-52 lead.

Up next for Elder is a trek to Northeast Ohio to face perennial power and defending Division I state champion Lakewood St. Edward.  Kickoff is 4 p.m. next Saturday at Highland High School in Medina.  St. Edward (2-1) has won consecutive games against Erie, PA Prep and Cass Tech from Detroit after falling to Mentor, 29-28, in the season opener.   St. Edward has won the last two meetings in this annual regular-season series between NE and Southwest Ohio powers, including a 36-30 last season at The Pit in a game that Elder led 28-14 at halftime. 

Here is a look at the other three GCL South games Friday night:

La Salle 38, Mansfield, MA 16 – The Lancers’ defense allowed its first points of the season, but it wasn’t enough to prevent La Salle from rolling to its third consecutive impressive victory against a perennial contender from Massachusetts.  It was a big night for Ohio State commit Jake Seibert, recruited for his kicking abilities.  On this night, though, Seibert hauled in six passes from junior quarterback Zach Branam for 110 yards and three TDs – scoring on receptions of 30, 11 and 30, respectively.  A week earlier, Seibert caught a season-high seven passes for 65 yards in the Lancers’ 31-0 victory at Mason.  He also is a perfect 3-for-3 in field goals and 13-of-13 on extra-point attempts this season.

Branam, a junior first-year starter, has passed for 244 yards and five TDs without throwing an interception in the last two games.  He also tossed a TD pass in the Lancers’ opening win against Lakota West.  La Salle (3-0) also scored twice on the ground, with sophomore G-‘Bran Payne running 50 yards for a score and finishing with a team-high 89 yards on two carries.  Senior Cam Porter also scored on a 2-yard run for La Salle against Mansfield (2-1).  Up next for La Salle is Dayton Dunbar, which visits Lancer Stadium next Friday. 

St. Xavier 37, Penn, IN 7 – Seniors Matthew Rueve and Kellen Newman combined to account for five TDs as St. Xavier traveled more than four hours to Mishawaka, Ind. to take a 20-0 lead in the first quarter, and then add two more TDs in the third quarter to win its second game against a team from the Hoosier state in three weeks.  The Bombers also got past Brownsburg from Greater Indianapolis, rallying from a 17-16 deficit at halftime to score 22 unanswered points in the final two quarters of a 38-17 victory in the season opener August 30 at St. Xavier.

Rueve, who leads the GCL South in passing yardage and touchdowns after three games with 802 and seven, respectively, had a near-perfect night – completing 13-of-14 passes for 268 yards and two scores.  He has yet to throw an interception while completing 67.3 percent of his attempts (60-of-85).  Newman carried 14 times for 88 yards and a season-high three TDs, as St. Xavier finished with 17 first downs and 436 total yards against Penn (1-3). 

Junior receiver Liam Clifford had a big night, with five receptions for 175 yards and one score for St. Xavier (3-0) – which only allowed four first downs and 123 total yards.  The Bombers are off to their best start since 2017, when coach Steve Specht’s team opened 8-0, went on to win the GCL South championship and finished 11-2, losing to Colerain, 21-14, in the Division I, Region 4 title game.  The Bombers host Indianapolis Cathedral next Friday.

Moeller 68, Lexington, KY Lafayette 7 – After being held without a point in opening losses to state champion contenders from Indiana and Kentucky, Moeller gained 183 yards on the ground and 175 through the air to beat Lafayette, 68-7, at Princeton High School.  The Crusaders’ defense also was solid, giving up just two first downs and minus-42 yards rushing on 26 attempts.  Lafayette (0-4) was limited to 4-of-17 completions for 39 yards through the air, and managed to convert only 2-of-12 third-down attempts.

Senior quarterback Drew Altemuehle connected on 10-of-16 passes for 175 yards and two TDs, while sophomore Gabe Goins rushed 14 times for 101 yards and three scores for Moeller (1-2).  Senior tackle Chris Richter led the Crusaders’ defense with five total tackles and two sacks.  Moeller’s defense did not allow a TD, as Lafayette’s lone score came on a fumble recovery and return.  The Crusaders travel to unbeaten Winton Woods next Friday.

Posted on 9/12/2019 at 12:50 p.m.

St. Xavier Defeats Ls Salle; Bombers Sit Atop GCL South Soccer Standings

Seniors Connor Ammon and Carson Owens scored second-half goals nearly two minutes apart, and the Elder defense did the rest in the final 25-plus minutes to give the Panthers a 2-1 victory against two-time defending Greater Catholic League South Division champion Moeller on Tuesday evening at the Gerry Faust Athletic Complex in Montgomery.

As a result, St. Xavier (4-2-0, 2-0-0) moved into sole possession of first place in the GCL South standings after the first third of league play by virtue of its 3-1 victory Tuesday at Lancer Stadium.  The Bombers got goals from Isaiah Neal, Lawrence White and John Schaeper in the win, the team’s fourth consecutive victory.  La Salle (1-5-2) has not won in its last seven matches following a 7-0 victory against Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy in the season opener.

The Moeller loss snapped a 13-match unbeaten streak in the league for the Crusaders, ranked No. 4 in the latest Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association (OHSAA) Division I state poll.  Moeller (5-1-2, 1-1-0 GCL South) last lost in the GCL South on October 11, 2016 at La  Salle, 3-0.  The Crusaders also suffered their first loss to a Cincinnati school  since the first round of the postseason in 2016, a 1-0 setback to Milford.  Moeller’s lone setbacks the last two seasons are to Louisville Trinity and Centerville in 2017, and Dublin Coffman and Medina last season.

Elder (6-1-0, 1-1)  is off to its best start since 2015, when the Panthers won their first four matches and started the season 7-0-1 before suffering their first defeat, 2-1, to St. Xavier.  That season, Elder finished tied atop the GCL South with St. Xavier, finished 14-2-4 overall and won three games in the state playoffs before being knocked out by Mason, 5-2.  Elder’s lone defeat this season was a 2-1 decision to St. Xavier last week.

Posted on 9/9/2019 at 8:34 a.m.

Moeller Remains Unbeaten; Elder Gets Back On track; La Salle Ties

All four Greater Catholic League South Division soccer teams were in action Saturday, with the league posting a 3-0-1 record against non-conference opponents on the day.

Moeller extended its unbeaten streak to seven matches to begin the season with a 2-0 victory over St. Charles Preparatory School in Greater Columbus.  St. Xavier won its third straight, going on the road to defeat Lakota West, 5-1.  Elder, which suffered its first defeat of the season earlier in the week, bounced back to win for the fifth time in six matches with a 3-1 victory at Summit Country Day, while La Salle and Princeton played to a 5-5 draw.

Moeller (5-0-2), the Division I state runner-up last season, continues to play solid defense – posting its fourth shutout this season after not allowing a goal in the first seven state playoff matches a year ago.  The lone goal Moeller allowed in the postseason came in the state final against Medina, which won, 1-0, in extra time.  The Crusaders have only surrendered four goals in seven matches.  Moeller is ranked No. 3 in the first Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association (OSSCA) Division I state rankings, behind only Medina and Cleveland St. Ignatius.  The next rankings are scheduled to be released Monday.

Against St. Charles, Moeller was held scoreless in the first half and the match remained that way until senior Parker Grinstead took a pass from senior Connor Andrews and scored to make it 1-0.  Grinstead then fed senior Sam Hegge to give the Crusaders a 2-0 lead.  Senior keeper Cal Collins and the Moeller defense did the rest to post the fourth shutout.

Elder (5-1-0) hit the road Saturday and posted a win against Summit, with senior Carson Owens scoring twice and senior Jacob Steins adding a third goal.  Senior Connor Ammo recorded assists on all three goals.  The Panthers have now won five of their first six matches, with the lone setback coming by a goal in the GCL South opener to St. Xavier, 2-1, on the road last Tuesday.

St. Xavier (3-2-2) got goals from five different players – Hunter  Begehr, Lawrence White, Isaiah Neal, Andrew Bernie and John Schaeper in its win at West Saturday.  The Bombers scored twice in the first 26 minutes to take a 2-0 halftime lead.  After West made it 2-1  early in the second half, White scored at the 51:32 mark to make it 3-1.  White finished with two assists to go along with his goal as St. Xavier notched its third win in nine days.

League play returns this week, with Elder facing Moeller at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Gerry Faust Athletic Complex on Moeller’s Montgomery Road campus.  St. Xavier travels down North Bend Road to meet La Salle in a 7:15 p.m. match that will be played at Lancer Stadium, the new home for La Salle soccer.  La Salle (1-4-2) is looking to snap a five-match winless streak against St. Xavier.  

Following the second night of league matches, it will be another busy weekend for the GCL South – especially for Elder.  The Panthers travel to GCL Co-Ed Division member Roger Bacon at 2:45 p.m. Saturday, before returning to the Panther Athletic Complex to host Sycamore in a 3 p.m. match Sunday.  Moeller hosts Fairfield at 5 p.m. Saturday, while St. Xavier travels North to meet Dublin Coffman at 7 p.m.  in Greater Columbus.  La Salle is not scheduled to play a match over the weekend.

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