Moeller Lacrosse Captures Storybook State Championship

 Photo courtesy Cincinnati Enquirer

Photo courtesy Cincinnati Enquirer

By Austin Gayle, Enquirer contributor

In a hard-fought battle that went all the way into double overtime, Moeller took home the Division I boys lacrosse state championship with a 9-8 win over Cleveland St. Ignatius.

Capping off a nine-game winning streak, Crusaders head coach Sean McGinnis walked off the field at Ohio Wesleyan's Selby Stadium proud of his boys and drenched in Gatorade.

“We just peaked at the right time, and we haven’t looked back since,” McGinnis said. “It’s been a wonderful ride for the coaching staff, the school, the alumni, the families and everyone.”

Crusaders junior midfielder Logan Dieball finished the night as the game’s hero, as his second goal of the contest ultimately lifted Moeller over St. Ignatius just 26 seconds into the second overtime period.

“There’s no better kid than Logan (Dieball) to get that winning goal,” McGinnis said.

To start the affair, both teams exchanged two goals in a physical, defensive first quarter of play.

The Wildcats then started to build momentum at the start of the second quarter. Both senior Gray Gerard and sophomore Nate Conry found the back of the net to give St. Ignatius a 4-2 lead.

Moeller answered.

Crusaders senior midfielder Lucas Klever and Dieball quickly knotted the game at 4-4, as both boys picked up their first goals of the game.

Following two spectacular saves from Wildcats senior goalie Carter Blossey, Moeller sophomore attacker Brendan Sigurdson put an end to Blossey’s parade. Sigurdson gave the Crusaders their first lead of the game with just 19 seconds left in the half.

Blossey finished the game with an astounding 12 saves.

“We had to move their defense; we had to get him moving in the cage,” McGinnis said of Blossey.

Leading 5-4 at the start of the second half, Moeller watched their lead disappear at the hands of senior midfielder Brent Chernosky and Conry. Both Chernosky and Conry squeaked one by Crusaders’ senior goalie Paxton Kreger to give St. Ignatius a 6-5 lead 3:44 into the third quarter.

Defense reigned supreme for the duration of the third quarter, as both teams failed to put another ball in the cage prior to the final 12 minutes of play.

St. Ignatius quickly found their way back to the net, as Boehm picked up his first goal of the game just 1:50 into the fourth quarter to give his Wildcats a 7-5 lead.

Again, Moeller answered.

Both Sigurdson and Miller notched their second goals of the contest at minutes 7:46 and 6:54, respectively, to tie the game at 7-7. Then, less than three minutes after Miller’s goal, Sigurdson secured the lead and the hat trick with 4:08 left in the fourth quarter.

Sigurdson wasn’t surprised by his performance.

“I just believed that our team could get me the ball, and I could produce the numbers like I have been this whole tournament,” Sigurdson said.

Wildcats senior Riley Kinzel then picked a good time to score his first goal of the game, as he bested Kreger to tie the game at 8-8.

The score remained locked at 8-8 through the final 2:13 of regulation and the entire first overtime.

Dieball, of course, added Moeller’s final answer, ending the contest with a timely goal.

When asked about his heroic effort, Dieball deflected the praise to his teammates.

“We just kept pushing through; we knew we could do it.”