Toledo Ottawa Hills and Middletown Fenwick titles headline soccer finals


Middletown Fenwick beat Akron Hoban 1-0 in the D-II final Saturday for the school’s first title. (Photo by Greg Beers)

A look back at the 33rd annual boys soccer and 24th annual girls soccer state championships.

A look back at the 33rd annual boys soccer and 24th annual girls soccer state championships.

Boys Division I

Top-ranked Cleveland St. Ignatius holds off No. 2 Beavercreek 1-0

COLUMBUS – Cleveland St. Ignatius senior Denio Leone’s improbable first-half goal through a cluster of defenders stood up as the game-winning goal to give the Wildcats a 1-0 win over Beavercreek Friday night in the Division I boys soccer championship game in Columbus Crew Stadium.

In winning its third state championship (also in 2004 and 2005), top-ranked St. Ignatius (19-1-3) went 18-0-3 in its final 21 games of the season and out-scored its opponents 26-0 during its seven-game postseason run to the title. The shutout Friday night was the school-record 19th this season for junior goalkeeper Joe Kalt.

Second-ranked Beavercreek finishes the season 20-2-1. The Beavers were making their second appearance in the state championship game (1990).

Leone’s first-half goal came when St. Ignatius sophomore Ryan Ivansic lofted a corner kick into the penalty area that bounced around several Beavercreek defenders and St. Ignatius forward Vaughn Spurrier before settling at the feet of Leone. Surrounded by defenders, Leone somehow managed to blast a shot past them all and into the back of the net to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.

Kalt and the St. Ignatius defense would make it hold up, limiting the Beavers to four shots in the second half, none of which were on goal. Kalt finished the night with one save.

St. Ignatius out-shot Beavercreek 14-8 overall, including eight shots on goal, and led in corner kicks 6-3.

Beavercreek junior goalkeeper Ben Dorn collected seven saves.

Boys Division II

Dayton Carroll wins first title, beats defending champion Cuyahoga Falls Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy in a shootout

COLUMBUS – Junior Jon Buscher converted Dayton Carroll’s final penalty kick to give his Patriots a 3-2 shootout win over defending state champion Cuyahoga Falls Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy Friday in the Division II boys soccer state championship game in soggy Columbus Crew Stadium.

In a driving rain, CVCA (19-3-1) kicked first in the alternating kick shootout format and connected on three of its five penalty kicks, while Carroll (20-1-2) connected on four, including Buscher’s dramatic game-ender, to give the Patriots their second state title, the first coming in 1980.

Neither team’s goalkeeper had a save during the 80 minute regulation and two 15 minute overtime periods as all four shots on goal found the back of the net. But in the shootout, the keepers – senior Ryan Sheedy for Carroll and senior backup Ryan Segedi for CVCA – were thrust into the spotlight. Segedi was inserted into the game for the shootout in place of senior Ryan Cook, who was in goal for regulation and both overtimes.

Sheedy and Segedi both saved their opponents’ third penalty kick attempt, and after CVCA sent its fifth PK wide right and high, Buscher delivered on his chance to end the game.

CVCA senior Matt Mason scored in the 32nd minute and Carroll junior Jeffrey Graham scored in the 38th to tie the game at 1-1. Carroll went up 2-1 in the 65th minute when senior Connor Morris scored, but CVCA answered 90 seconds later when Matt connected again.

CVCA out-shot Carroll 14-10 and had two shot hit the post, while two more hit the cross bar. Carroll took five corner kicks compared to three for CVCA.

Carroll senior Ben George, sophomore Justin Mitchell and Graham all converted penalty kicks during the shootout prior to Buscher’s game-winner.

Boys Division III

Toledo Ottawa Hills becomes first Toledo-area school to win a state soccer championship

COLUMBUS – Senior midfielder Sam Kuehnle’s 30-yard strike in the 51st minute through an unsuspecting Worthington Christian defense gave Ottawa Hills a 1-0 win in the boys Division III soccer state championship game Friday in rain-soaked Columbus Crew Stadium. It marks the first Toledo-area school to win a boys or girls soccer state championship.

Unranked entering the tournament and never having advanced past the regional finals, Ottawa Hills (20-3-0) knocked off the state’s No. 1-ranked team, Gates Mills Hawken, 3-0 in the state semifinal Tuesday and the state’s No. 2-ranked team, Worthington Christian, Friday to cap off the Golden Bears’ season-ending 14-game winning streak.

Ottawa Hills, which overcame an 0-2-0 season start, also beat No. 6 Bluffton in the district final and shut out 17 of its 23 opponents.

In the 51st minute, Ottawa Hills senior Ben Bryant took a 35-yard free kick from outside the top-left corner of the 18-yard box that Worthington Christian junior goalkeeper Alex Scott punched out of the penalty area. As the WC defense relaxed, Kuehnle rushed up on the ball as it bounced outside the top-right corner of the 18. His line-drive shot hit the back-left corner of the net, stunning Scott and the WC defense.

Entering the finals with a 14-game winning streak, Worthington Christian applied most of the pressure during the first half, out-shooting Ottawa Hills 9-4 in the first 40 minutes. The Warriors ended the game with a 14-12 shot advantage and nearly tied the game with 9:15 left when senior midfielder Eric Stevenson’s shot went off the fingertips of Ottawa Hills senior goalkeeper Kevin Elliott and bounced off the left post.

Ottawa Hills’ Elliott ended the game with five saves. His first big one came with 12 minutes left in the first half when Stevenson sent a corner kick into the box that senior Luke Helmuth nearly headed in from just four yards away.

Worthington Christian’s Stevenson posted a game-high seven shots, including four on goal. Scott had three saves.

Girls Division I

Cincinnati St. Ursula Academy edges Strongsville in rematch of 2007 final

COLUMBUS – In a rematch of the 2007 Division I girls soccer state championship, second-ranked Cincinnati St. Ursula Academy prevailed once again, beating sixth-ranked Strongsville 1-0 Saturday in Columbus Crew Stadium.

St. Ursula, which beat Strongsville 2-0 in the 2007 finals, finishes the season 20-0-3 and wins its fourth girls soccer state title in school history to tie Clayton Northmont and Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit for the most girls soccer championships in OHSAA history.

The Bulldogs went 20-1-2 last season for a two-year record of 40-1-5 and two state championships. St. Ursula’s first two state titles came in 1991 and 1993.

Strongsville, which was also aiming for its fourth state title, wraps up its season 21-2-1.

St. Ursula junior Elizabeth Burchenal scored a remarkable unassisted goal in the 44th minute with a drive into the 18-yard box through the upper-left corner. She sidestepped two Strongsville defenders and blasted a shot past Mustang senior goalkeeper Nicole Wood from nine yards out.

Strongsville out-shot St. Ursula 15-6 and put seven shots on goal, but Bulldog junior goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe saved all seven. Strongsville took five corner kicks, while St. Ursula had none.

Girls Division II

Middletown Fenwick beats Akron Hoban for first title in school history

COLUMBUS – Middletown Fenwick senior Alexis Heard scored with eight minutes left in the game and Akron Hoban missed a game-tying penalty kick with 1:12 remaining as the Falcons won the Division II girls soccer state championship 1-0 Saturday in Columbus Crew Stadium.

Third-ranked Fenwick (19-4-0) had never advanced past the district tournament before this season, but went 7-0 in the postseason and outscored its opponents 16-2 along the way.

Second-ranked Hoban (21-2-1) brought an 18-game winning streak into the state championship game and had shut out its last nine opponents, outscoring them 39-0.

Entering the championship game, Hoban had been shut out only once this season, that coming in its fifth game of the regular season against Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph, a 0-0 tie.

There were not many scoring chances for either team in the first 60 minutes of the game, but Fenwick slowly began to gain the majority of possession and in the 72nd minute found the back of the net. Fenwick freshman defender Selby Smith collected the ball on the midfield line and kicked it high and over several Hoban defenders toward Heard, who tapped it to her left, spun away from a defender and sent a left-footed shot into the right side of the net.

Hoban immediately stepped up its pressure in the waning minutes and it resulted in Fenwick foul inside the 18-yard box with 1:12 left in the game. Hoban junior Juliana Libertin’s penalty kick went wide right, however, and the Fenwick did not allow another chance at overtime.

Hoban out-shot Fenwick 14-7 and had more corner kicks, 4-2. There were seven shots on goal combined, with Hoban having four and Fenwick three.

Fenwick junior goalkeeper Mary Turvy had four saves, two in each half. Hoban senior keeper Francesca Gironda had two saves, both in the first half.

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