October 25, 2014

Elyria
Partly sunny with showers
69°F
test

Division III district boys soccer: Not that easy for EC, but Panthers get past Oberlin, make it to championship game

Elyria Catholic's Jeremy Kelling, right, and Oberlin's Grant Cadenhead collide going for a header Tuesday at Elyria Catholic. EC's Michael Saddler is at left. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

Elyria Catholic’s Jeremy Kelling, right, and Oberlin’s Grant Cadenhead collide going for a header Tuesday at Elyria Catholic. EC’s Michael Saddler is at left. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — Third-ranked Elyria Catholic got a test from Oberlin on Tuesday night before pulling away for a 3-0 win in a Division III boys soccer district semifinal at Knights of Columbus Field.

The Panthers (14-3-1) advance to Saturday’s district title match against Lutheran West, a 1-0 winner over Indepedence. The final is set for 3 p.m. at EC.

Oberlin (7-9-1) hung with the Panthers most of the way. It held them to a 1-0 lead for 32 minutes of the first half, and EC didn’t put it away until senior Michael Saddler made it 3-0 with an unassisted goal in the 61st minute.

The Panthers’ first goal came in the fourth minute off the foot of junior Liam O’Halloran. The second was kicked in by junior Gage Jarvis off Saddler’s corner kick in the 36th minute.

While the win was not easy against a Phoenix team without seniors, it provided the Panthers with a learning moment.

“This game showed us we have to play hard every game,” Saddler said. “We can’t take any (opponent for granted). We just have to keep moving forward and keep our heads up.”

Oberlin got a remarkable performance from freshman goalkeeper Tam Cadenhead, who was called on to make11 saves, an unusually large number.

Many were routine. His presence and the fact the Phoenix roster consists of four other freshmen, five sophomores and nine juniors, is a source of optimism for coach Michael Schmid.

“Our keeper has really come on since the beginning of the season,” said Schmid, who played at Oberlin. “He is one of our most improved players. Playing against the No. 3 team in the state, and they’re blasting shots against you — I mean he stood strong. Even without seniors, this team grew. I’m very optimistic.”

Panthers coach Attila Csiszar praised Oberlin’s effort.

“They played terrific,” he said. “Especially the first 20 or 25 minutes. They were possessing the ball and moving it around. Sometimes we tend to rely on one or two players up top and our midfielders have to be more engaged. But I’m very happy tonight.”

Girls district game moved

The Elyria Catholic Division III girls district soccer final against Wellington on Thursday night has been moved to Avon because of unplayable conditions at Knights of Columbus Field.

Start time remains 7 p.m.

EC also announced the boys district final against Lutheran West set for Saturday at 3 p.m. might also be moved.

Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7135 or soccer@bobdaniels.info.

Elyria Catholic 3, Oberlin 0

GOALS: (EC) Liam O’Halloran (4th minute), Jeff Ruiz (36th), Michael Saddler (61st).
ASSISTS: (EC) Saddler
SAVES: (O) Tam Cadenhead 11; (EC) Marty Conroy 2; James Rickard 0
SHOTS: Oberlin 3, Elyria Catholic 17
SHOTS ON GOAL: Oberlin 1, Elyria Catholic 11
CORNER KICKS: Oberlin 1, Elyria Catholic 2
GOAL KICKS: Oberlin 11, Elyria Catholic 6
OFFSIDE: Elyria Catholic 5
HANDBALLS: Oberlin 1
FOULS: Oberlin 5, Elyria Catholic 10
YELLOW CARDS: (O) Dante LaRiccia (62nd minute); (EC) Matt Ruiz, O’Halloran (72nd).
HALFTIME: Elyria Catholic, 2-0.