By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
Moeller continued its improbable scoreless postseason run Saturday afternoon, this time shutting out Turpin, 3-0, at Lakota East High School to win the championship of the Division I Southwest Region 4 in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Boys’ Soccer Tournament. The shutout was the sixth straight in the state playoffs and No. 14 in just 22 games this season (a school Record) for the Crusaders, who also posted victory No. 18 in the process, tying the record for most wins in a season set by the Crusaders’ 1994 team.
The victory earns Moeller (18-1-3) its first appearance in the DI Final Four, where it will face Olentangy Liberty (18-2-0) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at a site to be announced. Liberty won Region 3 by defeating Columbus St. Charles, 2-1, in overtime Saturday at Dublin Jerome High School. The Patriots, who were ranked No. 2 just ahead of Moeller in the final DI state rankings by the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association (OSSCA), compete as a member of the Ohio Capital Conference comprising schools in the Greater Columbus area.
Top ranked Cleveland St. Ignatius (18-1-2) and Medina (16-1-4) will meet in the other state semifinal Wednesday at a site to be announced. Semifinal sites are set to be announced Monday by the OHSAA. The Di state final is set for 7 p.m. Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, home of the Major Soccer League Columbus Crew.
Moeller, which has outscored its opponents in the state playoffs, 23-0, in six matches, got a goal and assist each from juniors Parker Grinstead and Hogan Daley. Grinstead scored for the ninth time this season at 19:41 of the first half, and then Daley followed with a goal less than two minutes later to give coach Mike Welker’s team more than enough offense. Moeller held a 2-0 halftime lead, and senior Jordan Walter scored a goal early in the second half to give Moeller an insurmountable lead with junior Cal Collins and the Crusaders’ defense again up to the task.
The last three victories by Moeller have come against some of the premier boys’ soccer programs in the region in Mason, 2-0, Anderson, 4-0, and Turpin. The three teams had a combined record of 41-12-6 this season, which has been a record-setting one for Moeller. The Crusaders have allowed just 10 goals in 22 games – a school record. Collins – only a junior – has set Moeller marks with six straight shutouts and also for the most career shutouts, with 20.5. Collins also has moved into first place in career goals allowed average, at 0.615.