GCL South Soccer Teams To Open Postseason Play


Posted on 10/19/2020 at 7:00 p.m.

League Champion St. Xavier No. 2 Seed In Southwest District Tourney
Led by Greater Catholic League South Division champion and highly regarded St. Xavier, all four GCL South teams prepare to begin sectional play in the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Boys’ Soccer Tournament that gets underway around the state beginning today.
La Salle and Moeller, which has made extended runs in the postseason each of the last three seasons, open their respective Southwest District Sectional / District Tournaments with first-round matches this evening, while St. Xavier – the No. 2 seed behind Mason – and Elder will await the winner of matches played today to learn which teams they wil meet in Thursday’s second round.
Moeller (5-7-4), which has played four matches in five days beginning with  last Tuesday’s 0-0 draw against St. Xavier, is at Princeton at 5 p.m. today at Viking Stadium on Chester Road.  The Crusaders have battled through graduation losses, injuries and youth this season, but are looking to recapture some of the magic they have had the last three seasons in the state playoffs.
The Crusaders, who posted a combined 51-6-8 record the last three years, also saved their best soccer for the postseason.  In 2017, the Crusaders won two matches before being knocked out by Centerville, 2-1.  A year later, coach Mike Welker’s team made it to the Division I state final before falling to perennial state power Medina, 1-0, and then advanced to the regional final a year ago before losing to Lakota East, 2-1.
La Salle (4-8-4) also opens play today, traveling to face Eastern Cincinnati Conference member Milford at 7 p.m. at Eagles Stadium.  The Lancers fell to Elder, 1-0, in their last regular-season match last Tuesday.  La Salle is looking for its second win this season against Milford, after winning 2-1 on the road back on September 17 before goals from senior Sam McAlister and junior Charlie Pearson.
St. Xavier  (11-2-2), which finished with a 5-0-1 record in the league to win the league title outright, has been one of the area’s most consistent teams all season.  The Bombers, playing against a brutal schedule, await the winner of tonight’s first-round match between Hamilton and Harrison at Harrison.  The second-round match is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at Ballaban Field at St. Xavier Stadium.  The Bombers have been solid on defense all season, led by senior keeper Briggs O’Toole, who has recorded 6.5 shutouts this season.  St. Xavier, too, has two of the top five scoring leaders in the GCL South, in seniors Brent Lands and Prince Okonny, who are tied for fourth with 18 points apiece.
Elder (3-8-3), which finished second in the league, is looking to continue its late-season momentum after going without a victory in its first 11 matches – with the majority of losses coming by one or two goals.  But, the Panthers have won three straight – including league victories against Moeller and La Salle – in the last week-behind solid defense and the goalkeeping of senior Kyle Dressman.  Elder gets the winner of tonight’s match between Lakota East and Northwest at East.  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at the site of the higher-seeded team.