Sunday, October 22, 2000

St. X edges Moeller in sectional soccer

Switzer scores only goal

By Dave Goldstein
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        St. Xavier's 10-3-4 record wasn't enough to earn a seed in the Division 1 boys soccer sectional, but a 1-0 victory over Moeller earned the Bombers something even better — respect.

        St. X won the Greater Catholic League championship and defeated Moeller earlier in the season. But Moeller earned the fourth seed and an opening-round bye, while St. X had to beat Sycamore to move on to Saturday's second-round matchup.

        “I felt that we should have gotten a seed,” St. X senior D.J. Switzer said. “I guess this is as good a way as any to prove that.”

        Switzer can take a lot of credit for Saturday's win.

        With Moeller boasting GCL player of the year Brian Schaeper in goal, even St. X's most golden opportunities were cast aside for the first 40 minutes of play. With the first half winding down, it looked as if St. X's 9-4 shots-on-goal advantage would be for nothing, with both teams held scoreless. That's when Switzer took the ball off a failed corner kick and blasted it in from 25 yards out for the game's only goal. It was the senior's first in three years of playing at the varsity level.

        “It took one unbelievable shot to beat this team for the second time,” St. X coach Henry Ahrens said. “That was just a great one-touch shot, and it just dipped over the goalie. It was pretty much a knuckleball.”

        The 1-0 lead stood despite a spirited second-half charge by Moeller. The Crusaders outshot St. X 6-3 after intermission, with those shots either being stopped or barely missing the net.

        The second half also brought a lot of physical play, with an altercation and subsequent complaintsyielding two yellow cards, one on each side. Neither side felt the physical play was dirty, just a case of two competitive teams in the heat of the moment.

        “This is a physical sport,” Moeller coach Randy Hurley said. “We have to get past the point where we think this is non-contact. Both teams just played with a lot of emotion, and I don't have any problem with that.”

        Ahrens said it was just a case of two teams that didn't want their seasons to end.

        Entering the sectional quarterfinals in his final year of high school, Switzer agreed.

        “This is just so important to me,” he said. “I just want to keep playing.”


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