Moeller Soccer Tourney Run Ends In Regional Final

11/03/2019

Posted on 11/3/2019 at 12:48 p.m.

Lakota East Scores Late Goal To End Crusaders’ 13-Match Streak

Lakota East senior Nathan Earl scored with roughly 13 minutes remaining in regulation to break a 1-1 tie and give the Thunderhawks a 2-1 victory against Moeller in the Division I regional final early Saturday evening at Princeton High School’s Viking Stadium.  It is the second regional championship for the Thunderhawks, who last advanced to the state semifinals two decades ago in 1999, and subsequently prevented Moeller from successfully defending its regional championship.

Lakota East (16-3-3), which has now won 12 consecutive matches, advances to the Division I Final Four of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Boys’ Soccer Tournament and will face Olentangy Liberty in the state semifinals at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Xenia Elementary School.  Liberty advanced with a 6-0 win against Worthington Kilbourne in its regional final Saturday.

Defending state champion Medina (21-0-1) faces Cleveland St. Ignatius (20-0-2) in a match of unbeatens in the other state semifinal.  The state final is set for Saturday at a time to be announced at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, home to the Major League Soccer Crew.

The loss ends Moeller’s bid for a return trip to the state semifinals.  The Crusaders (18-2-2)it all the way to the state final last season before falling to Medina, 1-0, in overtime – the only postseason goal Moeller allowed in last year’s postseason tournament.  Moeller took a 1-0 lead in the first half when Crusaders’ freshman JD Marshall scored off an assists from senor Parker Grinstead.  East tied the score with 25 minutes left on a header by senior Ethan Seppi.

It has been quite a four-year run for this talented group of Moeller seniors – who will leave their mark on the Crusaders’ varsity soccer program.  In their four-year careers, Moeller posted more victories than any other class in four years (58. 2016-19), three years (51, 2017-19), two years (37, 37, 2018-19) and a single year (19, l2018).  Moeller’s combined record during the last four years is   `47-14-10, including a 19-2-3 in 2018 with an appearance in the Division I state final (a 1-0 overtime loss to Medina).  The Crusaders, under coach Mike Welker, have won the last three GCL South championships outright, with a combined 14-1-3 record – the lone loss coming to Elder, 2-1, earlier this season.

It was quite an impressive year for the GCL South, as Moeller, St. Xavier and Elder combined for a 42-14-6 record that included each winning a district championship.  Moeller won its district title by knocking off No. 2 Mason in the final; St. Xavier advanced to the regional semis and a match against Moeller by handing Dayton Carroll, the GCL Cp-Ed Division winner its first loss of the season; and Elder won the district with victories against Eastern Cincinnati Conference champion Loveland and Dayton-area power Centerville.  The three GCL South teams posted a combined 11-3 record in the postseason, outscoring the opposition, 54-15, during that stretch.