St. Xavier Falls In DI State Soccer Semifinals

11/13/2020

Posted on 11/13/2020 at 11:05 a.m.

Two Of Bombers’ Three Losses This Season To State Finalists

St. Xavier’s quest for the school’s second state championship in soccer came to an end Wednesday night, when the Bombers lost to New Albany, 2-1, in the Division I Final Four of the Ohio High School Boys’ Soccer State Tournament at Xenia.  The Bombers led 1-0 at intermission, but New Albany managed to score two second-half goals to advance to Saturday’s state final.

New Albany (18-3-1) will oppose St. Ignatius (20-0-0), which beat Medina, 2-0, in Wednesday’s other semifinal, in the DI state championship at 7 p.m. Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, home of the Major League Soccer Columbus Crew.  Two of St. Xavier’s three defeats this season are to the state finalists, with the Bombers falling to St. Ignatius, 2-0, during the regular season.

St. Xavier (16-3-2) scored first when junior forward Tanner Creech found the net with 13:38 remaining to give the Bombers a 1-0 advantage – which they maintained until the second half. New Albany senior forward Ryan Blackburn scored just five minutes into the second half to tie the match and, at about the 20-minute mark, Eagles’ senior Will Fischer snapped the tie with a goal to put New Albany in front, 2-1.

Just how good had the St. Xavier defense been entering the match?  Consider that the Bombers had not allowed more than one goal in a match since October 6, when Greater Catholic League South Division colleague La Salle scored twice in a 3-2 St. Xavier victory.  In the postseason, St. Xavier had outscored its opponents, 17-3, in five matches before facing New Albany.  St. Xavier continued to pressure the Eagles’ defense, but the Bombers were unable to find the net again.

It should come as no surprise that the match was decided by one goal, as both teams had each been involved in seven contests decided by a single goal.  In fact, St. Xavier’s only other defeat this season was a 2-1 setback to perennial state power Mason.  St. Xavier was making its first state semifinal appearance since 2005, when the Bombers fell to St. Ignatius, 3-1.

St. Xavier won the big-school state title in 1983.

The Bombers’ State Championship Week continues tonight, when St. Xavier’s football team attempts to win its second DI state crown in five years when it faces defending champion and undefeated Pickerington Central in the DI final at 7 p.m. at Fortress Obetz in Greater Columbus. The Bombers have previously won three state football championships, in 2005, 2007 and 2016.