Commentary

St. Ignatius pins down another big win

Updated: October 13, 2009, 1:17 AM ET
By Sheldon Shealer | ESPNRISE.com

It wasn't as if the boys' soccer team at St. Ignatius (Cleveland, Ohio) needed a statement result, but it got one anyway.

The ESPN RISE FAB 50 No. 1 team scored three first-half goals to put away previously undefeated Strongsville (Ohio) 3-0 on Saturday. St. Ignatius now has pinned the only loss on the records of FAB 50-ranked Jackson (Massilon, Ohio) and Strongsville, which defeated FAB 50-ranked Chaminade (Mineola, N.Y.).

Senior keeper Joe Kalt collected his 40th career shutout in Saturday's victory over Strongsville, which leaves him two shy of the state record.

Luke Blades, whose older brother Mark Blades played for St. Ignatius' 2005 national title team, factored in two St. Ignatius scores in the first eight minutes of the match. Blades served the corner kick that was finished by Matt Sanda in the fourth minute. Blades followed with a goal in the eighth minute on an assist from Vaughn Spurrier. Kayvon Afsarifard scored St. Ig's third goal, coming in the 38th minute, on an assist from Alec King.

A crowd of nearly 1,000 watched the match.

TAKING TURNS: First it was Casa Grande (Petaluma, Calif.), then it was Montgomery (Santa Rosa, Calif.), then Maria Carrillo (Santa Rosa, Calif.), and now it's back to Montgomery as the No. 1 fall-playing girls' team in California.

Montgomery re-inherited the state No. 1 ranking with a 1-0 overtime victory over Maria Carrillo, avenging its only loss this season.

Alyssa Anderson redirected a Mackenzie Komrij corner kick for the only score of the match with four minutes left in the second overtime. In California, overtime sessions are not sudden death, and Maria Carrillo had a chance to even the contest but a shot hit the post.

Montgomery earned the No. 1 ranking after twice beating Casa Grande. Maria Carrillo jumped to the top after beating Montgomery, 1-0, in their first meeting this season. It is very possible that Casa Grande, Montgomery and Maria Carrillo could reach the section semifinals later this season.

WEATHER ALERT: Snowy weather in Denver put Major League Baseball's playoffs on hold, but didn't stop Broomfield from playing its regularly scheduled matches.

The Broomfield boys' soccer team won twice last week to remain perfect on the season and ranked in the ESPN FAB 50 Top 25. Meanwhile, the clash between state No.1 Denver East and No. 3 Pine Creek was postponed and will be played Saturday.

STATE CHAMPIONS: O'Gorman (Sioux Falls, S.D.), Sturgis (S.D.), R.C. Stevens (Rapid City, S.D.) and St. Thomas More (Rapid City, S.D.) claimed state titles this past weekend in the South Dakota state tournament.

Each fall, South Dakota is the first to finish play.

O'Gorman won a third straight Class AA boys' title in dramatic fashion when keeper Zach Johnson delivered a kick-save to end the penalty kick shootout victory over top-seeded Lincoln (Sioux Falls, S.D.). The match ended 1-1 and O'Gorman won 3-2 on penalty kicks.

Sturgis edged Sioux Falls Christian (Sioux Falls, S.D.) on penalty kicks also following a 1-1 match in the Class A final.

While Sioux Falls school swept the boys' titles, Rapid City schools swept the girls' titles.

Rachel Eisenbruan's goal gave Stevens a 1-0 victory over Spearfish (S.D.) in the Class AA final. St. Thomas More capped a 15-0 season with a shootout victory over Rapid City Christian (Rapid City, S.D.) following a scoreless match.

Sheldon Shealer covers youth soccer for ESPN RISE. He can be reached at sheldon.shealer@espn.com.