Confidence grows for St. Charles
The St. Charles Preparatory School soccer team won the CCL championship for the second consecutive season, and coach Rick Ey hopes that will equate to a lengthy postseason run.
The Cardinals are 9-5-2 overall and went 4-0 in the CCL, followed by DeSales and Watterson (both 2-1-1), Hartley (1-3) and Ready (0-4).
"We had a pretty good team last year and we had a lot of starters and a lot of letterwinners back from that team," Ey said.
"Winning the (CCL) championship really helps give us some confidence going into the (Division I district) tournament. I hope that confidence will help us keep the season going for a while."
Niko Stricker had the league-clinching goal in a 1-0 victory over DeSales on Oct. 2. Goalkeeper John Colosimo had three saves and Josh Zebula added one.
"We take a lot of pride at beating the teams in our league," Ey said.
"They might be Division II and Division III teams, but DeSales and Watterson have a lot of tradition and Hartley has had some good seasons. Then you have Ready, which might be the most-improved team. If you don't watch it, (the Silver Knights) can hurt you."
The ninth-seeded Cardinals had a bye in the first round of the district tournament and play host to 20th-seeded Dublin Jerome or 36th-seeded Briggs in a second-round game Saturday, Oct. 20.
St. Charles has not played either team this season. Jerome finished the regular season 4-8-4 and Briggs was 7-5-2.
The winner will play Wednesday, Oct. 24, against fourth-seeded Dublin Coffman or 38th-seeded Central Crossing in a district semifinal at the home of the better seed. The Cardinals did not play Central Crossing this season. The Comets were 2-12-2 before playing Coffman in the district tournament.
The Shamrocks finished the regular season 11-4-1 after defeating St. Charles 4-1 on Oct. 11. Ben Kinney, Ryan Prescott, Jason Stine and Zach Vollmer scored for Coffman and Trent Rantalla had three saves.
Alex Polko scored for the Cardinals and Zebula had five saves.
"There are a lot of things we need to improve upon," said Ey, whose team defeated Bexley 1-0 on Oct. 6.
"We're pretty detail-oriented, so there are a lot of little things we can do to improve our game. If we concentrate on the fundamental things, that can make us twice as good as we are now."
The district-semifinal winner advances to a district final at 2 p.m. Oct. 27 at Westerville South against fifth-seeded Westerville Central, Hilliard Bradley, eighth-seeded Pickerington Central, Delaware or Worthington Kilbourne.
The Cardinals closed the regular season with a 5-1 win over Reynoldsburg on Oct. 13.
Will Evans, Alex Macias, Polko and Will Walther scored for St. Charles, which also had an own goal, and Colosimo had four saves.