By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
A year ago, Moeller knocked off St. Xavier in the regional final of the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Lacrosse Tournament as part of a 10-game winning streak that eventually led to the Crusaders winning the Division I state championship. On Friday night at Mason High School, the same two teams met in the Region 4 title match again with a berth to state on the line, but this time it was No. 1 seed St. Xavier standing firm in a 17-5 victory to earn a trip to Columbus next week needing just two victories to keep the state title in the Greater Catholic League South Division.
Senior Duke Alf scored three goals and added three assists, while teammates John Holcomb, Jack Kilfoil and Trevor Gilmore each added three goals to lead St. Xavier to its third victory in as many matches this season against No. 2 seed Moeller, earning the Bomber a match against Worthington Kilbourne in the state semifinals at 7 p.m. next Wednesday at Chaminade-Julienne High School in Dayton. Cleveland St. Ignatius opposes Dublin Coffman in the other semifinal at 7:15 that same night at Wooster High School.
The state final is at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 2 at Ohio Wesleyan University.
St. Xavier started fast in Friday’s final, with Kilfoil and Gilmore scoring goals in the first four minutes to give the Bombers a 2-0 edge. Moeller came back to tie it at 2 before Holcomb, Alf and Kilfoil each scored goals to give St. Xavier a 5-3 lead after one quarter. The Bombers scored four unanswered goals – two by Alf and Gilmore and Holcomb with one goal each – to take a 9-3 lead and wind up with a 10-4 halftime advantage. Senior defenders Evan Deters, Andrew Kendall, David Donnelly, Jack Dirksing and goalkeeper Ross Wiseman held Moeller scoreless in the third period and gave up just one goal in the final quarter to preserve the win.
Junior Brandan Sigurdson scored two goals to pace Moeller (15-7), which turned in another outstanding season that included only two losses by more than two goals – Friday’s final and a 14-10 setback at St. Xavier on April 18. The Bombers beat Moeller, 11-9, in the final of the Midwest Scholastic League Coaches Association Tournament Championship that was held earlier this month in Columbus.
St. Xavier (17-3) has been impressive in its four postseason matches, outscoring Anderson, Lebanon, Loveland and Moeller by a combined score of 75-14. The Bombers take a six-match winning streak into the state semifinals.