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Wildcats are dealt their first draw of the season at Coughlin Field versus the Eagles
9/18/2014

Posted by Brendan DeVenney '17

No one likes to tie, and we learned that the hard way last winter in Columbus. The scenario goes especially for a rivalry matchup when ties are more frequent. 

Well that all occured on Wednesday night in Lakewood on Detroit Road in front of a sell out Coughlin Field. The Wildcats and Saint Edward Eagles squared off in the usual one-game meeting in the regular season. The Soccer 'Cats coached by Mike McLaughlin '85 went in with a 7-1 record, while the Eagles were 5-1-2 prior to Wednesday night. 

In what was a defensive grudge match, there was not a whole lot to cheer for if you were either a Wildcat or Eagle supporter. Scoring got started around the 28th and 27th minute. But it would be the Eagles who would strike first. Collin Richards got one past a sturdy Mikal Outcalt, who is usually a brick wall but gave way in the first half. So so far it's a 1-0 ballgame. 

But as the first half winded down, the Wildcats would make it even more exciting by getting one past Alex Dudley, the Eagles goalkeeper. The goal was credited to senior Matt Nigro, putting it in off a corner kick from Hayden Parente. A perfectly executed goal in a crucial moment.

But that would be all the scoring this game needed. At the end of full time Saint Ignatius and Saint Edward went home with a 1-1 tie in Lakewood. The Wildcats now sit at a 7-1-1 record, and Saint Edward is now 5-1-3. 

As for the Junior Varsity Wildcats? Well they had themselves a completely different game, crusing to a 7-0 shuout of the Junior Varsity Eagles. They scored once in the first half, and then went wild in the second with six consecutive goals. It wasn't new to the JV 'Cats either as Coach Jim Brennan's '85 squad have not let up a goal this entire season. Their largest margin of victory came twice, this past Saturday at Chardon winning 10-0, and then back on August 27th beating Padua Franciscan 10-0. They are now 9-0.

Next up for the Wildcats is currently the top team in the state in the Copley Indians on Wasmer Field on Homecoming Saturday. JV starts at 1:00 with varsity to follow.

TONIGHT! SAINT IGNATIUS vs. SAINT EDWARD #BeatED #WILDCATSOCCER
9/17/2014

vs. 

An impressive outing by all the Wildcats led to a win over Chardon
9/14/2014

Posted by Brendan DeVenney '17

Heading in with a 6-1 record, the Wildcats had to take care of business all the way out in Chardon against the Hilltoppers at Chardon Memorial Field. 

It wasn't much of an exciting game. In the end Saint Ignatius overpowered the Hilltoppers with an 8-0 victory. The Soccer 'Cats move to 7-1-0 on the year, while Chardon falls to 2-5-1.

Goals came from Stephen Milhoan, Matt Nigro, Riley Houde, Nicholas Malik, two frrom Joseph Leonardo, and also scoring two was Bobby Barsic. 

Wildcats goalkeeper Mikal Outcalt only needed one save on the day, as the Saint Ignatius offense took care of the rest. In the secind half, Jonathan Gronek came in the goal.

It was a big win for the Wildcats, but next up is rival Saint Edward on Wednesday night on the Eagles' Coughlin Field in Lakewood. Saint Edward is coming in with a 5-1-2 record and coming off a 1-1 tie with Solon. 

Despite torrential downpour, Wildcats find a way to defeat Kenston on Wasmer Field
9/11/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit, September 2014

OHIO CITY: The goals by seniors Nick Malik and Matt Nigro came during the first half of Wednesday night's matchup with the Bombers.

With both teams battling a swirling rain that was so persistent and heavy at times that it hampered the players' vision in the second half, Coach Mike McLaughlin's Soccer Cats won for the sixth time in seven outings this season and picked up their fourth consecutive victory. Coach McLaughlin now has 317 career wins in what is Mike's 20th season as the head of his alma mater's soccer program.

The Wildcats' only setback this season came during the annual Jesuit Cup, a one goal victory by Cincinnati St. Xavier on August 23.

Kenston, which represented itself well on the Wasmer pitch, lost for just the second time in seven games. The Bombers also have a tie.

Coach Jim Brennan's Junior Varsity Wildcats remained unbeaten with a five goal shutout over Kenston's jayvees. The JV matchup was shortened because of the weather forecast, a forecast that resulted in the varsity game starting forty five minutes earlier that its scheduled 8 PM start.

In case you are wondering, what was a persistent rain turned into an outright visibility hampering downpour on the commute home.

Up next for the Soccer Cats is Saturday's trip to Chardon (1 PM JV, 3 PM Varsity) and the always highly anticipated encounter with St. Edward next Wednesday in the Eagles' pitch on Coughlin Field (Six Bells for the Jayvees and 8 PM for the Varsity).

As for tonight's victory over Kenston in a drenched Ohio City, Coach McLaughlin described it to his Wildcats as probably the best soccer they have played this season.

Controlling the time of possession throughout most of the first half, Saint Ignatius had a header by Nigro off an outstanding cross by senior JoeMack Leonardo wiped out by a penalty.

Kenston, which did a nice job early on with its defense in and around the box, scored the first goal of the night on an alert tap in by senior Harry Vossler with 22 minutes and 39 seconds remaining in the first half.

Keeping their composure, the Wildcats knotted the score on a hustle goal by Malik that went off the left post (the goalie's right) and made itself comfortable in the net with just over fifteen minutes left in the first 40 minutes.

"I've spent three years in this program and to just finally get that goal to tie it up in a big game like this, it means the world to me," said Malik of his first varsity career goal. "It was a cross off the side and then it got kicked up in the air and I just thought no one's in front of me, so I just went after it. I just kind of closed my eyes and headed it in."

With the first half approaching the 8 minute mark, Nigro fired home his difference maker on an authoritative shot from the left side.

"I was sprinting up the left wing and was trying to read the defender on a missed skip ball," Nigro said. "The ball bounced to me and I was able to kick it to the back of the net. It was a lucky ball, but I'll take it."

Saint Ignatius, which in its six victories has outscored its opponents by a total of 12 goals to 2, let its defense and the goalkeeping of University of Pittsburgh recruit Mikal Outcalt do the rest. Mikal handled two free kicks and made a save you have come to expect from one of the top keepers in the Midwest.

The Wildcats' defense, which has allowed just three goals in seven matches, including one in the loss to St. Xavier, turned away everything thrown its way in the final 40 minutes, including Mother Nature's wrath.

With the halfway mark of the regular season on the doorstep and the OHSAA post season just around the corner, Nigro and Malik laid it right on the line as to what the Soccer Cats have to do in order to achieve a record sixth boys soccer state championship.

"Stay strong on defense and finish our chances," said two young men who exude the class that has always gone hand in hand with Coach McLaughlin's nationally acclaimed program.

  

Stephen Milhoan's goal lifts Saint Ignatius over Twinsburg
9/7/2014

Posted by Brendan DeVenney '17

In what was an evenly fought match, the Wildcats and Tigers were neck and neck for two full halves. Until with seconds to spare, the Twinsburg goalie gave in and sophomore Stephen Milhoan put the Wildcats on top for a 1-0 win. 

Saint Ignatius gets back at it on Wednesday when they welcome Kenston for an 8:00 match on Wasmer Field.

Wildcats bounce back to defeat the Titans in consolation match in the Jesuit Cup
8/25/2014

Coach Mike McLaughlin's Wildcats have now won three of their first four varsity matches on the season, with all three victories coming by a shutout. The only setback came on Saturday to the Bombers from St. Xavier (see post below).

Saint Ignatius will now gear up for Wednesday's match against Padua Franciscan High School on the Bruins' home pitch. Padua has a loss and a tie in two matches this young season, losing to the Bay Rockets, 8 goals to 1, and tying the Green Wave of Holy Name, 3 all.

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

 

Wildcats fall to Saint Xavier in first round of Jesuit Cup
8/24/2014

The nationally ranked 'Cats were defeated 1 goal to 0 on the pitch at Toledo St.  John's Jesuit High School. Saint Ignatius will face the Titans from St. John's on Sunday at 1 PM.

Eddie Dwyer

Varsity, Junior Varsity take down the Mustangs
8/20/2014

COACH MIKE MCLAUGHLIN'S WILDCATS, WHO WERE COMING OFF A SOLID THREE GOAL VICTORY OVER SOLON IN THE SEASON OPENER, WILL NOW GEAR UP FOR SATURDAY'S 3 PM MATCH UP WITH THE BOMBERS FROM CINCINNATI ST. XAVIER IN THE ANNUAL JESUIT CUP, WHICH THIS YEAR IS BEING HELD AT TOLEDO ST. JOHN'S JESUIT.

Eddie Dwyer

HERE ARE THE SUMMARIES OF BOTH THE JUNIOR VARSITY AND VARSITY GAMES, COURTESY OF THE WILDCATS' OUTSTANDING ASSISTANT COACH JOE POPELKA

JUNIOR VARSITY

Saint Ignatius 4, Strongsville 0

The JV Cats opened the scoring on a John Duldner header off a corner kick, with the assist from Adam Collins.

After a spirited run down the right side of the Mustang defense, Richie Holzheimer centered a pass that was struck home with authority by John Vrablic.

That ended the scoring for the 1st half.
 
The second half scoring began with a break-away goal by Alex Gotsky and the scoring ended with a 35 yard strike by Pat Strauss-a crowd pleasing goal with the assist credited to John Popa.
 
Goalies Lodge Dils and Max Heath shared in the shutout.
 
VARSITY
 
The game ended early with 13:44 remaining on the clock as the skies lit up at Foltz Field.
 
After a scorless first half, Steve Milhoan had the only goal with 34:50 to go in the second half--a long range drive over the arms of the keeper.
 
Saint Ignatius outshot the Mustangs, 13-2. 
 
The Wildcats got solid defensive work from Hunter Gordon, Jack Wiegandt, Matt Nigro, and Dean Miller.
Mikal Outcalt recorded the shutout, as he only had to make 1 save against his home town team.
 
Captain Bobby Barsic returned from injury, but Captain David Sisson (slight concussion) still remains sidelined.
 
Coach McLaughlin's Wildcats open season with a big win over Solon
8/17/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright August 2014

Ohio City: The savvy Steve Milhoan scores the first goal of the 'Cats' 2014 season, Jack Wiegandt tallies his first varsity goal and the quick and athletic Lawrence Karpeh sends home a left footer for Saint Ignatius' third goal.

The shutout in goal goes to standout senior and George Mason recruit Clark Gronek, as the Wildcats' three center back defense and overall pressure were a bit too much for a talented Solon team.

Coach Mike McLaughlin picks up his 312th career victory in what is now his 20th season as the head of the Wildcats' nationally recognized soccer program. The triumph over the Comets was also Mike's 232nd regular season victory at his alma mater.

Here is a full story on the Soccer Cats' impressive performance, along with some varsity football news.

WASMER FIELD: Okay, it was just game one.

That said, Saint Ignatius, ranked third in the Preseason Fab Fifty ESPN RISE National Rankings, left an impression on its highly successful head coach Mike McLaughlin by shutting down what is always a very sound Solon soccer team, three zip, in Saturday's season opener for both teams.

"In the beginning part of the season, you need to dominate defensively," Coach McLaughlin said. "Things aren't fine tuned in the front third or with your offense yet. It takes weeks to get that sorted out. As a team, we have to focus on making sure that we defend hard everywhere on the field, that everyone's defending hard the moment we lose the ball. If we can defend hard and win the fifty/fifty balls, then we have a chance, we're going to be in games.

"I was really pleased with our defensive energy all over the field," Coach McLaughlin continued. "We have a bunch of creative skilled players and we'll have chances to score. The more they combine with each other, the more chances we'll have moving forward."

The three center back defense, which puts a lot of defensive responsibility on the wings or wing backs, does, said Coach McLaughlin, open up more opportunities for the Wildcats at the center of the field and up top.

Coach McLaughlin also pointed out that his team faced the Comets without two of his standouts, senior defender, captain and Davidson recruit David Sisson (slight concussion) and senior midfielder, captain and Holy Cross recruit Bobby Barsic (sore ankle).  

With its defense leading to a dominate possession time, Saint Ignatius scored its first goal on a rebound shot by sophomore midfielder Steve Milhoan with just over 11 minutes remaining in the first half and went up by two goals when senior defender Jack Wiegandt tapped in a rebound with just twenty six seconds remaining in the first half.

Credit Solon's disciplined defense for keeping the game scoreless for nearly 29 minutes.

"Lawrence (Wildcats standout junior forward Lawrence Karpeh) knocked it off the keeper and I just happened to be there," said the humble Milhoan, who is one of the top underclassmen in the area.

"Steve (Milhoan) hit the corner in, crossed it in and me and JoeMack (talented senior forward JoeMack Leonardo) were rushing near post," said Wiegandt of his goal. "I think JoeMack hit the goalie and I just tapped in on it."

Wiegandt added that he was aware his goal was the first of his varsity career.

Despite some strong efforts by Comets goalie Will Meyer, Saint Ignatius added a third goal in the late going when the strong and quick Karpeh delivered a smooth left footer off an assist from sophomore forward Riley Houde.

Getting back to the 'Cats' defense, Saint Ignatius' outstanding assistant coach, Joe Popelka, pointed out that it was big game tested junior midfielder Hayden Parente who took a header by the Comets off line and saved it. Hayden's effort preserved the shutout.

The Wildcats had 20 shots on goal and Solon had four.

"With the three in the back, it gives us more opportunities to score," Milhoan said of Saint Ignatius' new look defensively. "It gives us more chances, it's a positive."

Wiegandt, who is also a mainstay for Coach Pat O'Rourke's state and nationally recognized ice hockey program, concurs with Milhoan.

"It opens up the field more and gives the three in the back more room, more options to pass it up and allow us to attack the goal," said Wiegandt, who was an Assistant Captain on Saint Ignatius' 2014 State Champion Hockey Team.

"We have to keep the communication up, keep talking out there and keep the pressure up," Wiegandt continued in reference to the Wildcats' goal of a record sixth boys state soccer championship. "We can't let up. For all eighty minutes, just go hard."

And Milhoan couldn't agree more.

"Get our fitness level up a little bit near the end of the game, be a little more organized up top before we score and don't rush it," Milhoan said.

Up next for the Soccer Cats is Tuesday's trip to Strongsville to face the always well schooled Mustangs. Saint Ignatius senior captain and University of Pittsburgh recruit Mikal Outcalt is expected to be in goal in what is a hometown match up for Mikal.

2014 Wildcat Soccer Season Preview
8/10/2014

BY EDDIE DWYER, COPYRIGHT AUGUST 2014

OHIO CITY: Following a morning practice on Wasmer Field last week, Saint Ignatius' outstanding Head Soccer Coach Mike McLaughlin reflected on the past two seasons and the role those outcomes could play as his Wildcats gear up for their 2014 schedule.

"Sports are emotional, they're passionate," said Coach McLaughlin as he prepares for what will be his 20th season as the director of his alma mater's soccer program. "It's a passionate part of life and so I think the more bits and pieces you can attach their emotions to, to get them fired up, the better."

The emotions, or the fire in their bellies, that the 2014 Soccer Cats will carry with them is the fact that Saint Ignatius was eliminated in the district finals the past two seasons in shootouts to West Side rival St. Edward. What made last year's District Final loss (three to two in penalty kicks) on Wasmer Field tough to swallow was that a shot by Colin Cleary '14, last season's Offensive MVP, was ruled a save when in fact it was a goal. The film on the game verified Cleary's goal and the official who made the call, one of the best the state has to offer, apologized. Many of the current Wildcats describe the official who was involved in the call as being a great official and a "great guy."   

Human error is a part of all athletic competition and the above facts are by no means a discredit to the outstanding game St. Edward played on the Wildcats' home field.

"Two years in a row, going out in a shootout to St. Eds, is definitely a huge part of the motivation for everything everybody is doing," said Coach McLaughlin, who will bring a career record of 311 victories, 44 losses and 42 ties, including 80 victories in 94 post season games, five Division I state championships, a state runner up and two national titles into Saturday's season opener versus the Solon Comets on Wasmer Field. The junior varsity action will begin at 1 PM, followed by the varsity encounter at 3. Solon played the 'Cats tough in a 2013 season opener on the Comets' home field before Saint Ignatius prevailed with two goals in a shutout victory.

"We play them (St. Edward) on Sept. 17th at their place (the pitch at Coughlin Field) and we've worked hard all off season and all summer because we don't want that to happen again," Coach McLaughlin continued. "That definitely stays with you and it's (the 2014 Wildcats) a veteran led group, a lot of seniors that have been part of it. They young kids are excited, but they didn't feel as much as some of the older kids from the last couple of years."

Helping fuel that veteran leadership will be three of the finest captains in Saint Ignatius' rich soccer history, a 38 year history that has produced an overall mark of 511-126-85.

"They're amazing kids and they're great leaders on the field," said Coach McLaughlin of senior goalie Mikal Outcalt, a University Pittsburgh recruit, senior defender and Davidson recruit David Sisson and senior midfielder and Holy Cross recruit Bobby Barsic. David was the Wildcats' Most Valuable Defender in 2013 and Bobby was the 2013 Midfield MVP.

"Our best teams have been so because we've had a great group of senior leaders," Coach McLaughlin said as he prepares his Wildcats for what could be an OHSAA record sixth boys state soccer championship. "The story remains to be told, we have to see how we finish. But it's really an exciting moment right now for the program."

Talent wise, Coach McLaughlin believes he has the players at key positions who can dominate games and that his Wildcats will score "a lot of goals this season."

That confidence is also boosted by the fact Saint Ignatius has a group of savvy senior defenders and two of the premier goalies in the state in Outcalt and fellow senior Clark Gronek.

"To really go far you have to have a big time goalkeeper, and we have two, and then you have to have a solid defense and score goals," said Coach McLaughlin. "I feel we have a lot of mature kids in those positions to do that. The talent is there, now I have to see that they're committed to working every day. There is a little grind to the season when you're going every day for three months and if they show that they love to go out there every day and battle, then that's the extra piece that will take us to where we want to go."

HOW THE CAPTAINS SEE IT

MIKAL OUTCALT: "From now on whenever we play St. Eds everyone is going to remember that goal. We have a lot of returning guys, so it's pretty much no excuses. We know our goal and we've known it for awhile now. Everyone realizes what we need to do and now it's just a matter of doing it. When we were freshmen we won a state championship and as seniors we have to show these underclassmen how to get that back.

"People are doubting us after the last two years and now it's our goal to show everyone that Saint Ignatius is still a big powerhouse in the state. We have our whole backline returning, me and Clark at goalie, Dave (Sisson), Matt Nigro, Jack Wiegandt and Hunter Gordon, so we really have no changes there and we're not expecting to give up anything. And up top, in the attack part of it, pretty much anyone we put up there can do something on their own, something special.

"We have a lot of weapons and all of the younger guys are good enough to be impact players. We just need to keep talking and stay on the same page. And Lawrence (gifted junior forward Lawrence Karpeh) and JoeMack (multi skilled senior midfielder JoeMack Leonardo) have to stay healthy.  

"We're excited for it (a season in which many will regard Saint Ignatius as the team to be in the state). There's a new fire in us that hasn't been around for awhile. All summer long we've been champing at the bit to get back to practice."

BOBBY BARSIC: "With the amount of seniors we have, along with just the whole concept of us being more than a team, we're almost like a family out there, I think this year we're going to give it our all every minute and every second of every game. We don't want to even get to that situation again (overtimes, shootouts and PKs). We want to finish strong and win in regulation.

"I think we have one of the best, if not the best backline in the state. All of them are very strong players. As for our midfield, there is no question that even though Stephen (Milhoan) is just going to be a sophomore and Hayden (Parente) is just going to be a junior, we're going to be very dominant in there as well.

"Offensively, we just have to get more numbers going in the attack. Last year one or two people tried doing it on their own. We have to combine more when we get to the offensive third of the field, crossing more and getting numbers into the box."   

DAVID SISSON: "I think we're the team to beat after the heartbreak of two years of losing to your rival. For the seniors who experienced it there is not much else, it is a real motivator to go hard right from the beginning of the season. There's not much else that is as inspiring to play hard as losing emotionally. We don't want to go through that again.

"There is nothing else to blame it on, this is our (the seniors) last chance. There is a lot of fight in us. We're going to go after the fifty/fifty balls and the second and third ball. As talented as you can be, there is still the aspect of how much do you really want to win it.

"Finishing," said David when asked about an area that the deep and flexible 2014 Wildcats have to improve on. "We always have and do have good forwards, but they never took shots last year, it seemed like. When they did it was wide or something happened. We would always seem to get where we needed to get to shoot and then we wouldn't shoot. We would take another touch or do something we didn't need to. 

"Get hungry for the goals. That's how you win the games."

*For a complete look at the Wildcats' 2014 schedule, go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on soccer.

Fall Soccer Tryout Information
7/23/2014

Tryouts Begin Monday, August 4.  Sophomores - Seniors from 8 - 11 a.m.  Freshman from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.  All Tryouts on Wasmer Field.

Contact Coach McLaughlin with any questions -- mmclaughlin@ignatius.edu.

Outcalt to become a Panther
5/13/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius' outstanding soccer goal keeper Mikal Outcalt '15 shared with the corner on Monday night that he will be furthering his education and soccer career at the University of Pittsburgh.

Mikal, who will be entering his third season this summer as a mainstay for Coach Mike McLaughlin's state and nationally acclaimed soccer program, is not only one of the top keepers in the state, but the entire Midwest. He brings size, savvy and athleticism to his vital position.

At 6-foot-4, Mikal is also a key member of Coach Sean O'Toole's varsity basketball team as a post/forward.

The University of Pittsburgh is not only getting an exceptional student/athlete, but a standout young man as well.

Congratulations to Mikal, his family, Coach McLaughlin '85 and the entire Saint Ignatius Soccer Program.

 

 

High School Summer Team Camp
5/12/2014

High School Summer Team Camp -- for incoming freshmen - seniors CLICK HERE

Justin Morrow blooming closer to his Saint Ignatius roots
4/13/2014

Toronto FC defender Justin Morrow '05 was featured in Sunday's Cleveland Plain Dealer. He is shining in Major League Soccer with some of the nations best. 

Here is the story by Tim Warsinskey: Major League Soccer: Toronto FC defender Justin Morrow blooming closer to his St. Ignatius roots | cleveland.com

Soccer Alumn Vaughn Spurrier Still Shining
3/18/2014

Saint Ignatius alumn and former soccer player Vaughn Spurrier is shining at Temple as a soccer star, but also in the classroom. As a result he is being rewarded for his collegiate success. Read the story per American Athletic Conference here:

http://theamerican.org/news/2014/2/26/MSOC_0226143234.aspx

Saint Ignatius High School Team Camp Information
2/28/2014

Coming Soon...


July 14 - 18, 2014 at Saint Ignatius High School from 9 - 11:30 a.m.

Saint Ignatius Youth Summer Soccer Camps
2/24/2014


CLICK HERE for the registration form for the 2014 Saint Ignatius Summer Soccer Camps.   The coaching staff is excited once again to provide your child with an enjoyable and competitive summer soccer camp experience.

This summer we will be focusing on the excitement of the World Cup.  We will be sharing with the campers the traditions, language, and interesting facts of the 32 participating countries. Daily prizes will include replica World Cup jerseys, flags, and the usual Saint Ignatius wear.

We will also be spending time working on the critical elements of sportsmanship, character development, and the importance of being your best in everything you do.

Also this summer, for the first time, we will be offering an Advanced Level Camp at the July 14-18 Camp for 5th-8th graders at Saint Ignatius High School.  The camp will be staffed by Dutch National KNVB Coaches, who are coming in from Holland for the summer to work with the youth campers, as well as with the Saint Ignatius High School soccer program.  Of course the campers will also be coached by players past and present from the Saint Ignatius soccer program.