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Posted on 11/12/2018

Moeller’s Ben Hegge, St. Xavier’s Geiser Share Player Of Year Honors

The Greater Catholic League South Division is pleased to announce its all-star soccer team for the 2018 season. Members of this prestigious team, along with winners of the categorical awards, were voted on by league coaches at a special meeting held at the conclusion of the regular season.  Moeller senior forward Ben Hegge, who led the league in scoring and helped his team advance to the Division I state final for the first time in school history, and St. Xavier senior forward Gino Geiser, who finished second in the GCL South in scoring and helped his team advance to the regional semifinals, are the GCL South Co-layers of the Year.

Hegge – who has committed to play at the University of Cincinnati – finished with 15 goals and added 10 assists for 40 points in 24 games.  Moeller (19-2-3) lost only twice all season, falling to Dublin Coffman, 3-2, in the regular-season finale, and then making it to the DI state final before losing 1-0 in overtime to Medina.  Geiser helped St. Xavier (13-4-3) win a second straight district championship, scoring 13 goals and adding five assists for 31 total points in 20 games.  Moeller was ranked No. 3 in the final Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association Di state rankings, while St. Xavier was No. 10.   Geiser and Hegge each scored 10 goals during the regular season.

Moeller coach Mike Welker, whose team ended the regular season ranked No. 1 in local soccer polls, won its second straight GCL South league title, set a number of schools records including most victories (19), most shutouts (15) and most consecutive shutouts (seven) in making its first trip to the state tournament, is the Coach of the Year.

ALL-GCL SOUTH DIVISION SOCCER TEAM

NAME, SCHOOL, POSITION, CLASS
Connor Ammon, Elder, FWD, Junior
Connor Andrews, Moeller, CM, Junior
Zach Arnold, La Salle, FWD, Senior
Spencer Bernard, Elder, DEF, Senor
Drew Brown, Elder, GK, Senior
Cal Collins, Moeller, GK, Junior
Gino Geiser, St. Xavier, FWD, Senior
Parker Grinstead, Moeller, CM, Junior
Ach Harvey, La Salle, DEF, Senior
Ben Hegge, Moeller, FWD, Senior
Will McAlister, La Salle, CM, Senior
Carson Owens, Elder, CM, Junior
Matthew Sutton, St. Xavier, CM, Senior
Michael Wampler, St. Xavier, CM, Senior
Craig Wellens, St. Xavier, CM, Senior

SPECIAL AWARDS

CO-PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
Ben Hegge, Moeller
Gino Geiser, St. Xavier

COACH OF THE YEAR
Mike Welker, Moeller

ACADEMIC ALL-STARS
Parker Niehaus, Elder
Josh Trabel, La Salle
Ryan Galanie, Moeller
Nick Greely, St. Xavier

Posted on 11/12/1968

Panthers Face No. 1 Seed At Mason Friday With State Berth On Line

After putting together impressive performances in the first two rounds of the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Football Tournament, outscoring Moeller and Lakota East, 69-6, Elder will attempt to do something no other team has managed to this season – defeat unbeaten and No. 1 seed Colerain in the Division I, Region 4 final at 7 p.m. Friday at Mason High School’s Dwire Field at Atrium Stadium.

The OHSAA officially announced sites for the regional finals Sunday.

On the line is a regional championship and a subsequent berth in the DI state semifinals on Friday, November 23.  Elder is vying for its first regional title since 2009, when the Panthers defeated Anderson, 28-21, in the final.  Elder also won the regional crown the previous year, beating Colerain, 27-20, in overtime and advancing to the state final where they lost to Cleveland St. Ignatius.  Colerain is looking for its second straight regional title and third in the last four years, also having won the region in 2015.  That year, Colerain beat Elder, 41-11, to advance to the state semifinals.

Elder (8-4) – the region’s No. 3 seed – has won four straight games and is coming off perhaps its two best all-around games of the season.  First, Elder avenged a regular-season loss by shutting out league rival Moeller, 35-0, in the first round of the state playoffs.  Then, despite losing senior quarterback Michael Bittner to a leg injury on the first series of the game, the Panthers beat Lakota East, 34-6, in the reginal semifinals last Friday at Mason. 

Junior Matthew Luebbe replaced Bittner and accounted for 258 total yards and three touchdowns for Elder, which has given up a combined 17 first downs and 328 total yards in the two playoff games. – also forcing six turnovers.  Luebbe, a versatile offensive weapon for the Panthers, completed 9-of-13 passes for 98 yards and a TD, while finishing with a game-high 160 yards rushing on 18 attempts and two scores.

Colerain (12-0) has been the state’s top-ranked team all season.  And with good reason.  The Cardinals are averaging 37.2 points per game and, since a 14-12 win at St. Xavier in week two, Colerain has scored 42 or more points every game but one – including a 48-14 victory over Milford in the regional semis last Friday at St. Xavier’s Ballaban Field.  The only other game the Cardinals did not reach 42 was the first round of the postseason, a 35-9 win over St. Xavier at home.

Only eight teams remain in the DI state playoffs, including defending champion Pickerington Central.  Here is a look at the other regional finals, also set for 7 p.m. Friday at neutral sites.  The DI state championship game will either be played Thursday, November 29 or Friday, November 30.  The exact date and time for the final will be announced by the OHSAA at approximately 11 p.m. on November 23.

Region 1
(at Euclid Community Field)
No. 1 Mentor (11-1) vs. No. 7 Lakewood St. Edward (8-3)
Region 2
(at New Albany Veterans Field at Eagle Stadium)
No. 4 Olentangy Liberty (8-4) vs. No. 2 Dublin Coffman (11-1)
Region 3
(at Gahanna Lincoln Wilbur C. Strait Field)
No. 1 Hilliard Davidson (11-1) vs. No. 6 Pickerington Central (10-2)

Posted on 11/11/2018

Crusaders’ Scoreless Streak Over In 1-0 Loss To Medina

It seemed only fitting that Moeller would not allow a goal in regulation during the Division I state final of the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Soccer Tournament Saturday evening at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus.  But, the Crusaders’ amazing scoreless streak finally came to an end with just 1:30 remaining in the first overtime when junior Parker Csiszar scored the match’s lone goal to give Medina the 1-0 victory and the state title after losing to Beavercreek, 1-0, in double OT in the title match a year ago.

The loss ended a record season for Moeller (19-2-3), which was vying for the school’s first state soccer championship and entered the final having recorded seven straight shutouts in the postseason, a school record, and 15 shutouts this season, also a Crusader best.  Moeller, with its 1-0 OT win against Olentangy Liberty in the state finals, also set the school’s single-season record for victories with 19, and entered the final having outscored its seven opponents in the state playoffs by a combined 24-0 score.

Both teams displayed strong defense all night, and it appeared the match might be headed for another extra period.  But Csiszar, who was named first team All-Ohio, took a pass in Moeller’s penalty area, got around a defender and took a shot that made its way into the left side of the net.  It was only the 11th goal Moeller has allowed all season, and the first in the postseason.  Medina (19-1-4) also allowed 11 goals this season, with just one in the postseason.  Medina certainly earned its first state soccer title, defeating No. 1 Cleveland St. Ignatius in the semifinals and No. 3 Moeller in the final.

Posted on 11/10/2018

Crusaders’ Soccer Team Attempts To Close Scoreless Postseason

Moeller will attempt to add to a few more records to the best season in school history, when the Crusaders face Medina in the Division I state championship of the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Soccer Tournament.  The math begins at 7 tonight at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, home of the Major League Soccer Columbus Crew.

The Crusaders (19-1-3) have not allowed a goal in seven postseason matches, outscoring their opponents by a combined 24-0 to earn the school’s first trip to the DI Final Four and now the state final.  Coach Mike Welker’s team already has set school records for the most victories (19), shutouts (15) and consecutive shutouts (seven).  None of those accomplishments, however, would be as big as winning the program’s first state title.

Moeller and Medina (17-1-4) are coming off 1-0 overtime wins against two of the state’s top-ranked teams.  Moeller beat Olentangy Liberty on a goal by senior Jordan Walter with just under three minutes remaining in the first OT.  Liberty was ranked No. 2 in the final Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association DI poll, one spot ahead of Moller.  Medina eliminated No. 1 Cleveland St. Ignatius by that same score in an extra period, setting up tonight’s state final.

This is Medina’s second straight appearance in the DI state final, having lost to Beavercreek, 1-0, in OT in last year’s title match.

To listen to the state final broadcast from click this ESP Media link.

Posted on 11/10/2018

Panthers’ Fourth Straight Win Earns Shot At No. 1 Colerain

Junior Matthew Luebbe accounted for 258 yards total offense and three touchdowns and, for the second straight week, the Elder defense did not allow any points to help the Panthers earn their fourth straight victory – this time a 34-6 win against Lakota East on a cold Friday night at Mason High School’s Dwire Field at Atrium Stadium in the Division 1, Region 4 semifinals of the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Football Tournament.

The victory earns Elder (8-4), the region’s No. 3 seed, a shot at undefeated and No. 1 Colerain in the regional final at 7 p.m. Friday at a site to be announced this weekend by the OHSAA.  Colerain (12-0) advanced with a 48-14 win against Milford at St. Xavier Stadium’s Ballaban Field in Friday’s other regional semifinal.

Luebbe, who has been used as a versatile offensive weapon by Elder coach Doug Ramsey all season, replaced senior Mitchel Bittner – the Greater Catholic League South Division I Player of the Year – after Bittner suffered a leg injury while being tackled attempting his lone pass of the game early in the first quarter.  Bittner did not return, but Luebbe took the reins of the Panthers’ offense and completed 9-of-13 passes for 98 yards and a TD, while also rushing 18 times for a game-high 160 yards and two more scores. 

Lubbe, who also started the scoring with a 6-yard TD run last week in Elder’s opening-round, 35-0 win against GCL South regular-season champion Moeller at The Pit, did it again last night – scoring on a 6-yard run with 6:15 remaining in the first quarter.  Luebbe hooked up with senior receiver Kyle Trischler on a 13-yard scoring pass with just 25 seconds left in the first half to give Elder a 21-0 lead at intermission.  East scored its lone TD 17 seconds into the third quarter in a 35-yard interception return by Michael Howard to cut the deficit to 21-6, but Luebbe added a 2-yard run with 6:12 left in the quarter to make it 28-6.  Luebbe ran for 84 yards and two scores against Moeller.

The Elder defense finished off the scoring when senior Zach Bischolf returned an interception 70 yards for a TD in the first minute of the final quarter.  Elder, which limited Moeller to just seven first downs and 158 total yards a week earlier, held East’s powerful triple-option attack to 10 first downs and 170 total yards, forcing four turnovers.  The Thunderhawks were 2-of-9 on third down, 1-of-4 on fourth, and completed just 1-of-13 passes for 40 yards.  The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for East (8-4).

Stopping Colerain, however, won’t be easy.  The Cardinals have been held below 42 points only once since week two, that coming in a 35-9 win against St. Xavier in last week’s opening round.  Colerain is averaging 37.2 points a game behind senior quarterback Deante Smith-Moore (1,600-plus total yards and 27 TDs) and backs Ivan Pace Jr. (898 yards rushing, 15 TDs) and JJ Davis (9.9 yards per attempt).  Scary statistics when you factor in that many of the Cardinals’ starters did not play much in the second half of lopsided games during the regular season, and that many of the victories featured a running clock at times in the second half.

The two teams last played in the regional final three years ago, a 41-11 Colerain victory behind a powerful rushing attack that produced 509 yards on the ground.  Fullback Monalo Caldwell carried 25 times for 222 yards and three TDs, while quarterback Deshaunte Jones (now playing at Iowa State University) ran 15 times for 195 yards and two scores.  The Cardinals lost to eventual state runner-up Huber Heights Wayne, 28-21, the following week in the state semifinals.

Colerain is trying to reach the state semis for the second straight year.  The Cardinals made it there last year, too, before falling to eventual state champion Pickerington Central, 41-28.  Elder won back-to-back regional championships in 2008 and 2009.  In ’08, the Panthers defeated Colerain, 27-20, in overtime and then knocked off Pickerington Central in the semis to advance to the state final – losing to Cleveland St. Ignatius, 28-20.  Elder made the state semis a year later in ’09, beating Anderson, 28-21, in the Region 4 final.

Elder lost to Hilliard Davidson, 24-20, the following week.  Davidson went on to the win state title that year, knocking off Cleveland Glenville, 16-15, in the final.  Elder and Colerain combined to win three straight state titles from 2003 to 2004, with Elder capturing consecutive big-school crowns in 2002 and 2003 and Colerain winning its lone title in 2004.

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