By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
Moeller made the most of its first trip to the Division I Final Four in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Boys’ Soccer Tournament on Wednesday night, shutting out its seventh consecutive postseason opponent to post a 1-0 overtime victory against Olentangy Liberty at Springfield’s Evans Stadium in the state semifinals to move within one win of the school’s first state soccer championship.
The Crusaders (19-1-3), who also set a school single-season record for most wins in a season in the process by eclipsing the previous mark set back in 1994, advance to meet Medina (17-1-4) in the state final at 7 p.m. Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, home of the Major League Soccer Columbus Crew. Medina defeated Cleveland St. Ignatius, 1-0, also in OT in the other semifinal match at North Ridgeville High School.
St. Ignatius was ranked No. 1 in the final Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association DI state poll, followed by Olentangy Liberty and Moeller. Medina was not ranked in the final poll, which was released on October 15.
Senior Jordan Walter scored the lone goal at 92:56, with the assist from junior Sam Hegge to keep Moeller’s state title quest alive. The Crusaders have now outscored their postseason opponents, 24-0. The seven consecutive shutouts recorded by junior keeper Cal Collins also is a school record, as is the number of shutouts this season, which is at 15 entering the state final. Moeller has allowed a record 10 goals in 23 games behind Collins and a stifling defense.