October 23rd, 2018

Tigers advance to quarterfinals

Dalton Pence 

Staff Writer 

Tigers advance to quarterfinals
St. X soccer team / photo by Dalton Pence

St. Xavier’s run to a second-straight state title continued Tuesday night with a 6-1 win over visiting South Oldham in the Semi-State Four game.

Conner George led the Tigers with two goals and dominated from the get-go.

George opened up the scoring five minutes into the game as he dribbled past a couple of defenders and nailed a shot that found the back of the net to put the tigers ahead.

“They (South Oldham) had some bad touches and we just capitalized,” George said.

Minutes later, George netted his second goal by beating the goalkeeper after the South Oldham defender mishandled a pass from Case Cox.

“That was huge for us to go up two goals like that”, St. X head coach Andy Schulten said.

However, the 7th region champions were not finished in the first half. Off of a pass from Ryan Nichols, Pablo Sakaguchi buried a shot to give St. X a 3-0 lead with 9:56 left in the half.

South Oldham got on the board off of a tap-in from John Ober to pull the Dragons within 3-1 at the half.

The beginning of the second half saw South Oldham trying to create chances in an effort to equalize.

“I kind of got after them because I think we let up and then we took our foot off of the gas,” Schulten said.

However, the Tigers got back on track as Max Gordinier joined the scoring effort when he capitalized on a pass from Case Cox with 24:20 to play.

South Oldham’s Bruce Rademaker was sent off after being issued two yellow cards simultaneously, leaving them with only ten men on the field and 20:42 to play in the match,

A minute later, Cox increased the Tiger lead to 5-1 by punching in an attempt from around ten yards out.

“Once they got their red card, it opened the game up for our whole team and it just created so much space for me to work around,” Cox said.

Continuing to take advantage of South Oldham, St. X scored their sixth goal of the night when Chris Willis banged in a shot off of the post.

St. X recorded 23 shots (13 on frame) and were able to get six corner kicks.

At the forefront of the attack, Case Cox and Conner George have both scored seven goals in the team’s last five games.

Schulten not only credits Cox and George, but the senior class as a whole.

“They don’t want their senior year to end,” Schulten said. “They appreciate high school soccer…I think it’s a testament to those kids because it’s important to them.”

The Dragons only had two shots, which were both on frame.

South Oldham goalkeeper Garrett Borgman tallied three saves.

“As far as the team defense goes, I couldn’t have asked for more”, Schulten said. “They stayed with their marks, they communicated well, they passed the ball around very nicely out of the back, and they didn’t panic.”

Despite the resounding semi-state victory, George remains grounded.

“Just take it one game at a time and don’t be too confident”, he said.


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