St. Xavier Wins Region, Advances To State Soccer Semis


Posted on 11/8/2020 at 7:38 p.m.

Senior Lands, Okonny Score Goals, Record Two Assists In Victory
Seniors Brent Lands and Prince Okonny each scored a goal and recorded two assists, and the defense did the rest Saturday night to help St. Xavier defeat Centerville, 4-1, in the Division I, Region 4 final of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Boys’ Soccer State Tournament at Ballaban Field at St. Xavier Stadium – giving the Bombers their first trip to state since they advanced to the 2005 final and lost to Cleveland St. Ignatius, 3-1.
St. Xavier (16-2-2), the regular-season Greater Catholic League South Division champion and winner of five straight matches and seven of its last eight, advances to face New Albany (17-3-1) in the DI state semifinals at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Xenia’s Doug Adams Stadium.  Unbeaten and top-ranked Cleveland St. Ignatius (19-0-0), defending state champion and winner of four of the last six DI state titles, faces Medina (18-1-2) in the other semifinal that same night at Brunswick high School.  Medina won the 2018 state championship, defeating GCL South member Moeller, 1-0, in overtime in the state final.
The state final is 7 Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus.  St. Xavier won its only state soccer championship in 1983, winning the big-school division with a 2-0 victory in the final against North Royalton.
The regional championship in soccer continues an amazing fall sports season for St. Xavier, which will play for the DI state football title against defending champion Pickerington Central in Greater Columbus.  The Bombers’ golf team also advanced to the state tournament, where it finished third in the final team standings despite posting a school-record team score of 616.
Against Centerville (16-2-2), which tied perennial regional power Beavercreek for the Greater Western Ohio Conference championship, St. Xavier took a 1-0 lead just five minutes into the match when junior Ryan Earl took a feed from Okonny to score his fifth goal of the season.  Then, with 18 minutes left in the opening half, Lands passed it from the corner to senior Lawrence White, who scored his seventh of the season to give the Bombers a 2-0 advantage.  After Centerville cut the deficit to 2-1, the Elks had a few more chances near the end of the first half but senior keeper Briggs O’Toole made a strong save to keep St. Xavier ahead at intermission.
Early in the second half, St. Xavier extended its lead to 3-1 after Okonny found Lands and the Bombers added an insurance goal when Lands returned the favor and found Okonny to make it 4-1.  Lands and Okonny are tied for the team lead in goals, with 10 each, while Lands has a team-best eight assists.  He now leads the GCL South in scoring, with a total of 27 points.
St. Xavier has now five straight matches against Centerville, winning a regular-season meeting each of the last four seasons before Saturday’s victory in the regional final.