September 13th, 2011

Tigers Top St. Francis For Ninth Straight Win

Chris Jung

Senior Writer

Tigers Top St. Francis For Ninth Straight Win
photo by Chris Jung

Henley, Riely combine for five goals in St. X 10-0 home victory

St. Xavier High School proved on Tuesday that its soccer team may currently be the state's most dominating team.

Behind a hat trick of goals from senior Neil Henley and a pair from senior Logan Riely, the Tigers picked up its third 10-0 win in its last four games and defeated a St. Francis team that had only allowed a season-high four goals prior to Tuesday's contest.

The state's No. 4 ranked St. X has now won nine straight games and outscored its opponents 39-1 during its past four outings.

"We're doing it against good competition," said St. Xavier Head Coach Andy Schulten. "This St. Francis team is a good, good team."

After senior Gabe Stewart gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead over the Wyverns just a minute and a half into the game, Henley scored his first of three goals with 24:21 to go in the first half, giving St. X a 2-0 lead. He found the back of the net again just 20 seconds into the second half and was subbed out of the game after scoring his third goal with 33:26 remaining in the game.

The Tigers struck quickly in both halves, setting the tone and the tempo against an overmatched St. Francis squad.

"That's kind of been our signature the last few years is getting up on teams early," said Schulten. "Right now we're a great team and gelling at the right time. Let's just hope we keep going up."

Kaelon Fox gave St. Xavier its 3-0 halftime lead after blasting in a 20-footer from the left side of the field, which came on the heels of several close calls offensively for Schulten's bunch.

The hot Tigers scored rapid fire and picked up four goals in the first nine minutes of the second half, as Mitchell Metzger and Drew Hillebrand each notched a score to go along with Henley's aforementioned goals.

Riely scored his first goal off a deflected rebound with 24:15 to go in the game, following a curved cross from Conor Weimer. That goal made it 8-0. Riely scored again nearly 12 minutes later after a botched clear attempt from St. Francis (3-3-1) goalkeeper Joey Slucher.

Benjamin Johnson's goal with 5:04 put St. Xavier ahead 10-0 and gave the Tigers its third mercy rule win of the season.

With an ample lead, Schulten had the luxury of getting some key minutes for several of his bench players, and they did not disappoint once they hit the field.

"We came in expecting to win the game, but I was even more pleased to see our reserves taking guys on, playing with confidence and running with people, and in some cases even beating them," said Schulten. "Those last four goals were scored by guys who haven't gotten a lot of playing time this year, and they looked like good soccer players."

St. X goalkeeper Nathan James didn't have much to worry about on his end of the field, but did handle the Wyverns' minimal shots on goal. He and fellow GK Chris Nabor combined for the team's fifth shutout of the year.

Five different players also recorded assists on Tuesday, as Stewart (2), Henley (1), Metzger (1), Eric Muth (1) and Ryan Sullivan (1) all contributed to scored goals.

The Tigers are unbeaten at home thus far in 2011 and are now 10-1-1 overall.

"We definitely have a bit of an advantage when we play here at home," said Schulten. "It's a little faster and we're used to it, and when you got on top of a team early like that, you hope to demoralize them a little bit and hope to peck away at their will to win."

The Tigers are in action again on Saturday in Indiana, as Schulten and Co. travel to Indiana to take on Brebeuf Jesuit. St. X will then return home on Sept. 20 for a 12th District game against DuPont Manual.


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