If the result from earlier this season is any indication, tonight’s Division II State Semifinal matchup between the Carroll Patriots and the Columbus St. Francis DeSales will be a close one.
Carroll (18-4) lost at home to DeSales (17-2-2) in the third game of the season in early September, 3-2.
The Patriots have only lost three times since then.
Carroll coach Scott Molfenter said that it feels good to get back to state.
“It does. I’m proud of this team. They’re pretty young. We’ll see what happens. It’s going to be a tough rematch with DeSales,” he said.
The Stallions tied the Pats in a regular season game last year. DeSales would go on to win the state championship.
After a few seasons of being bumped from the tournament early, Carroll has moved through the postseason to get back to the final four. They had two 9-0 wins to start the playoffs, beating Trotwood-Madison and Dayton Meadowdale. They then defeated Tipp City Tippecanoe, 3-1, to move to the D-II District Final.
In the district final, the Patriots edged out Cincinnati Mariemont, 1-0, in overtime. Ian Molfenter scored the goal off of a Colin Flaute throw-in to move on to regional competition.
The D-II Regional Semifinal was another rematch for Carroll. They defeated Kettering Alter, 1-0, in the playoff game after losing to the Knights 2-0 earlier this season. Cameron Najarian scored the goal to win the rivalry matchup.
Last weekend’s Regional Final was a playoff rematch that goes back to last season, when Cincinnati Wyoming beat Carroll, 1-0, to knock them out of the tournament.
After Wyoming’s Jay Klein scored the first goal to put the Cowboys up, Eli Ramsey scored a goal to tie things up just before halftime. Senior Spencer Kreinbrink scored the go-ahead goal early in the second half.
Molfenter credits the team’s regular season schedule for preparing them for close games in the postseason.
“Our tough schedule has paid off,” he said. “We play a lot of teams that put us on our heels.”
The Patriots, who are the seventh-ranked team in the state, will practically have a home game against the second-ranked Stallions. The game will be played at 7 p.m. tonight at Wright State’s Alumni Field.
Reach Zach Gregory at (937) 372-4444, Ext. 2124.