Sunday, October 31, 1999

Confident St. Henry heads to Elite 8

Enquirer contributor

        It's now up to St. Henry to do what has never been done: bring a boys' high school soccer title to Northern Kentucky.

        The Crusaders, ranked No.2 in The Enquirer's coaches poll, earned that duty by defeating No. 4 Covington Catholic 1-0 at St. Henry on Saturday after noon to advance to the state round of eight. St. Henry will play the winner of the Richmond Model/Somerset game 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Town and Country Sports Complex.

        The deciding goal came 26 minutes into the first half. The free kick by junior midfielder David Vissman arched to the left around the Colonels' three-man wall and past diving goalie Brian Thaman for the score.

        “(St. Henry coach Tim) Dressman taught us to do that, to get quick starts on free kicks,” Vissman said. “I saw the open shot and I took it.”

        Covington Catholic (16-6) had several opportunities off eight second-half corner kicks but couldn't convert. After one such kick the ball bounced around before Colonels mid fielder Brian Mauntel came up with it about 10 yards in front of the goal, with only St. Henry goalie Chris Billiter in the way. Mauntel's shot missed wide left.

        “(CovCath) sent everyone on corner kicks,” Billiter said. “I stayed in and let my defense take care of me, and they did.”

        St. Henry outshot Covington Catholic 17-6 for the game.

        Dressman assessed his team's chances to win it all as “good.” He knows the Crusaders (18-4) probably will have to face nationally ranked Louisville Ballard along the way.

        “We've got depth. We're healthy. We've played the top teams out of Lexington. We'll beat Louisville Ballard,” Dressman said.

        Halftime: 1-0. Goal: Vissman (SH). Shutout: Billiter (SH). Records: SH 18-4, CC 16-6.


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