Moeller Soccer One Win From DI Final Four


Posted on 11/2/2019 at 1:23 p.m.

Crusaders Put 13-Match Win Streak On Line In Regional Final

After a dramatic 3-2, Sudden-death victory over league rival St. Xavier  in Wednesday’s regional semifinals, Moeller now sets its sights on a second straight regional championship and accompanying berth in the Division I Final Four of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Boys’ Soccer Tournament.  It won’t be easy to repeat, though, as the Crusaders must get past Lakota East in today’s 4 p.m. final at Princeton High School to advance.  Moeller, which owns a 13-match winning streak, and East, which has won 11 straight, played to a 2-2 draw during the regular season on August 29.

But Moeller (18-1-2) clearly saves its best soccer for the postseason, evidenced by the Crusaders’ 12-1 record in the state playoffs the last two seasons.  A year ago, Moeller won its first seven tournament matches without allowing a goal and made it until overtime of the state final before giving up its only postseason goal in a 1-0 loss to Medina.  This year, Moeller has outscored its five state playoff opponents by a combined 28-3 score, including three shutouts.  The Crusaders’ defense and senior keeper Cal Collins have allowed only two opponents to score more than one goal in a match all season, East in the first meeting and St. Xavier  in the regional semis.

Moeller is led offensively by junior midfielder Kade Tepe, who leads the Greater Catholic League South Division in goals scored, with 15, and points, with 38.  Tepe has scored a goal in nine of his team’s last 11 matches.  Senior Parker Grinstead, who earlier this season became the school’s career assists leader, leads the GCL South in assists, with 13, and is third in points, with 28.  East (15-3-3), which has not lost since a 1-0 setback to Greater Miami Conference champion Mason on September 19, is led by senior Luke Birdsong, who has scored 15 goals and has 34 points.  East has outscored its five tournament opponents, 32-3.  The Thunderhawks defeated GCL South member Elder, 4-2, in Wednesday’s regional semis to advance.