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 Tournament Preview

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OHSAA State Soccer Tournament Preview

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The 2012 OHSAA state soccer tournament begins at semifinal sites around the state and will return to Crew Stadium in Columbus for the 14th year of play for the 37th annual boys tournament and 28th annual girls championships. This year’s edition marks the second there will be three divisions of champions for both boys and girls.

In girls Division I, 2011 champion Strongsville returns to the state tournament for the 11th time and enters its state semifinal game with a record of 19-1-0. The Mustangs have won four state titles since 1998. Perrysburg will oppose the defending champions in the semifinal matchup. The Yellow Jackets (21-0-0) have navigated their way to the state tournament for the first time and have done so without a blemish.

The other girls Division I state semifinal features Pickerington North (19-0-2) and Mason (19-1-1). The Panthers, who have advanced to the state tournament for the third time since 2007, did so by defeating 2011 runner-up Dublin Jerome in the regional final in double overtime, 1-0. Mason is making its first appearance in the state tournament

The girls Division II state tournament features four teams that all have recent experience at this level. Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit (19-0-2) is making its 12th state tournament appearance and fourth in a row. The Warriors will take on Toledo St. Ursula Academy which finished as runner-up in 2011. The Arrows are making their third tournament appearance.

In the other half of the girls Division II state tournament, 2011 state champion Columbus St. Francis DeSales has earned its way back to defend its title. In their ninth appearance the Stallions (14-7-1) will have to defeat Cincinnati Indian Hill if they want to repeat as champions. Indian Hill (17-3-1) will be looking to upend the defending champions, as the Braves are making fourth state tournament appearance since 2003.

In girls Division III, Gates Mills Hawken is making its first state tournament appearance with a record of 13-4-2. The Hawks will face Mansfield Ontario in the state semifinal. Ontario (17-3-1) is making its second state tournament appearance. The Warriors previously made it to a semifinal game in 2010.

The school that won the first girls Division III soccer state championship last year has played its way back to the state tournament for a chance to defend its title. Cincinnati Summit Country Day (19-1-2) is looking to win back-to-back titles in its second appearance. The Silver Knights will have to get past Middletown Bishop Fenwick (16-1-3) if they hope to repeat. Fenwick is looking to avenge its state semifinal loss from a year ago to Summit and make its own claim to the 2012 championship trophy. The Falcons are making their third state tournament appearance and have previously won a title in 2008.

A new boys Division I champion will be awarded for the first time in two years, as two-time defending champion Cleveland St. Ignatius was defeated in its district final game. Aurora (16-3-2) and Sylvania Southview (16-3-2) square off in a semifinal matchup of schools making their first state tournament appearance. Aurora defeated Lakewood St. Edward 1-0 in the regional final to qualify, while Southview defeated Westlake 3-1 in its regional final.

The 2011 state runner-up, Powell Olentangy Liberty (20-1-0) has earned its way back to the state tournament for the second time. The Patriots look to improve upon their finish from last year, but will first have to face Mason (18-2-1), which is making its first tournament appearance after defeating West Chester Lakota West in a shootout for the regional title.

In boys Division II, Cuyahoga Falls Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy (14-6-0) is making its ninth appearance in the state tournament having won a state title in its last appearance in 2010. The Royals will face Bay Village Bay (14-4-3) in their semifinal matchup. Bay is making 12th appearance in the state tournament most recently finishing as runner-up in 2009.

Two-time defending state champion Dayton Carroll (17-0-4) is back in the state tournament in the other Division II semifinal matchup. The Patriots are making their ninth tournament appearance and are looking to become the first boys soccer team in OHSAA history to win three consecutive state championships. Carroll will first have to face Bexley (14-3-4), which is making its seventh state tournament appearance. The Lions have two state titles of their own, coming in 2003 and 2005. 

The boys Division III 2011 runner-up, Gates Mills Hawken will take on Toledo Ottawa Hills in one half of this years state tournament. Hawken (16-1-4) is making its 11th appearance in the state tournament and has seven runner-up finishes and one state title. Ottawa Hills (17-2-2) is making its third tournament appearance and has previously won a title in 2008.

The other boys Division III matchup pits defending state champion Worthington Christian (13-5-3) against Cincinnati Summit Country Day (17-2-1). Worthington Christian is making its 11th state tournament appearance overall and eighth straight appearance. Summit Country Day is making its second appearance and won the state championship in its only other showing in 1999.

The OHSAA state soccer semifinals take place at sites across the state, November 6th (girls) and 7th (boys), with the state finals taking place on November 9th (girls) and 10th (boys) at Crew Stadium in Columbus.

 

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