XENIA — Even without its head coach and two starting defenders, the DeSales High School boys soccer team still dominated much of a Division II state semifinal Nov. 7 against Cincinnati Summit Country Day.
Momentum swung throughout the game, especially in the second half when both teams controlled play for lengthy stretches, but the Warriors’ Doug Simpson rolled in the game’s only goal off an assist from Jake Klopfenstein with 2 minutes, 17 seconds left as Summit Country Day edged DeSales 1-0 at Doug Adams Stadium in Xenia in a showdown between two tradition-rich programs.
The Stallions, who were seeking their second consecutive state championship and fourth state title in five years, finished 18-4. The Warriors, who won the past three Division III state titles before moving up to Division II this season, improved to 15-7 and will play Richfield Revere in the state final Nov. 10 at Mapfre Stadium.
“We knew what they were like and that going in, we had to play well to win and they played exactly how we thought they would play,” Stallions assistant coach Ben Brooks said. “We had our chances and couldn’t convert. They converted one late and that was it.”
DeSales, which was tied with Bay Village Bay for first in the final state poll, played without coach Domenic Romanelli, who was unable to travel because of illness, and starting defender Alessandro Conte, who according to Brooks did not play because of an off-the-field issue. Another starting defender, Josh Conroy, injured his left knee with 7:07 left in the first half and did not return.
Midfielder Cristian Gomez played most of the rest of the game on defense.
Brooks said he did not believe there was any structural damage to Conroy’s knee but added that tests were pending.
Jake Klopfenstein assisted on Simpson’s goal, and Simpson gave him all the credit.
“He pointed out where to be and I was able to curl the ball to the front post and put it in the back of the net,” Simpson said. “This is one of the most even matches I’ve ever played in. They made us really work.”
DeSales goalkeeper Thomas Sauer and Summit Country Day goalie Ethan Carr each made five saves.Division I
Cincinnati Moeller 1, Olentangy Liberty 0 (OT)
In its first state tournament game since making four consecutive appearances from 2011-14, Liberty lost to Moeller in overtime in a Division I state semifinal Nov. 7 at Evans Stadium in Springfield.
The Patriots, who also lost to the Crusaders 2-1 on Sept. 15, finished 18-3.
Moeller improved to 19-1-3 and will play Medina in the state final Nov. 10 at Mapfre Stadium.
The game’s only goal was scored with 2:04 left in the first overtime by the Crusaders’ Jordan Walter.
Cal Collins was at goalkeeper for Moeller and Theran Handlon was in goal for the Patriots in a game that was scoreless for more than 90 minutes.
Liberty, which was ranked second in the final state poll while Moeller was third, won the only state title in program history in 2012.
Moeller is in the state tournament for the first time.
—Jarrod UlreyDivision III
Miamisburg Dayton Christian 3, Grandview 2
Manny Day scored two goals early in the contest, but Grandview was unable to maintain its lead against Dayton Christian in a Division III state semifinal Nov. 7 at London.
Day scored his 49th and 50th goals of the season in the first 20 minutes for the fifth-ranked Bobcats, who finished 16-3-3. However, the third-ranked Warriors rallied to cut the deficit to 2-1 with 2.3 seconds left in the first half on a goal by David Hallock.
“Obviously, getting a goal heading into halftime really turned the momentum into our favor,” Dayton Christian coach Neil Craft said. “Going in down 2-0 would have been a lot different.”
The Warriors tied the game at 2 with 33:42 left on the first of two goals by Sam Reid.
Grandview played the final 30 minutes down a player after Joel Samuels received his second yellow card of the contest. Reid scored the game-winner with 9:12 to play.
Dayton Christian improved to 19-2-1 and advanced to play eighth-ranked Archbold in the state final Nov. 10 at Mapfre Stadium.
“It’s a shame the main turning point of the game was a referee’s decision instead of an amazing play or something like that,” said Bobcats coach James Gerdes, whose team also lost in a state semifinal last year, falling 3-2 to eventual state champion Summit Country Day. “It really made it difficult when we were down to 10 men, and that changed the tide of the game.
“I’m really proud of these young men and the leadership that they showed. It’s the same line as last year. It hurts, but we’ll work to get back here.”