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High School Summer Soccer Schedule

1. Captain's Practice -- This is for incoming Freshmen through Seniors and will be every Monday and Wednesday, in June and July, from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. on Wasmer Field.  Please contact captain Stephen Milhoan at (330) 421-4671 to get on the group text regarding weather cancellations and changes.

2.  Team Camp -- This is for incoming Freshmen thru Seniors and will be held July 11-15 from 9:00-11:30 on Wasmer Field.  This camp will be conducted by Dutch National KNVB coaches along with the Saint Ignatius coaching staff. CLICK HERE for the registration form.

3. Summer Weight Room Information -- Speed/Strength workouts for Sophomores through Seniors are Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday from 1:30-3:00 or 3:00-4:30.  Freshman workouts are on Mondays and Thursdays from 12:30-1:30.  

4. Tryout Information -- Tryouts for the 2016 season will begin on Monday, August 1, and teams will be selected by Friday, August 5.   Sophomores through Seniors will tryout from 8:00-11:00.  Freshman will tryout from 11:00-2:00.  Please be there 30 minutes prior to your tryout time.  
5. Fitness Requirements -- Two fitness tests will be used during tryouts -- the 20 meter Beep Test, and the 300 Yard Shuttle Run.  Players seeking to make Varsity must be able to complete level 12 on the Beep Test.  You can find Beep Test apps online.  The 300 yard shuttle run consists of sprinting 25 yards, turning and sprinting back 25 yards -- and repeating this out and back 6 times, which will give you 300 yards.  Then take a 5 minute break and repeat the activity.  Times should range between 60-90 seconds to complete the 300 yards.


Congratulations to Wildcats Soccer Standout Steve Milhoan, the 2015-16 Gatorade Ohio Boys Soccer Player of the Year

Posted By Eddie Dwyer with the official News Release.

Steve continues the rich tradition of Coach Mike McLaughlin's state and nationally acclaimed program, as he joins Matt Foldesy '12 and Mark Bades '06 as previous winners of this prestigious award.

Here is today's official release of this special honor for Steve.

CHICAGO (February 11, 2016) — In its 31th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Stephen Milhoan of St. Ignatius High School as its 2015-16 Gatorade Ohio Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Milhoan is the third Gatorade Ohio Boys Soccer Player of the Year from St. Ignatius High School.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Milhoan as Ohio’s best high school boys soccer player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year award to be announced in May, Milhoan joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook HS, Mich.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02, East Brunswick HS, N.J.) and Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.).

 The 5-foot-9, 165-pound junior forward led the Wildcats to a 22-0-1 record and the Division I state championship this past season. Milhoan scored 29 goals and passed for 19 assists. He tallied nine goals and six assists in seven postseason games, including a goal in a 4-0 win over Hilliard Davidson in the state final. The Ohio State Soccer Coaches Association’s Division I Player of the Year, Milhoan is a member of the U.S. Soccer Futsal National Team. He concluded his junior year with 49 goals and 30 assists in his prep soccer career.

 Milhoan has maintained a 3.58 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally at Holy Family Home, an initiative for people with cancer, and at a homeless shelter. He has also donated his time as a youth soccer coach and referee.

 "Stephen has great technique, can hit a ball with either foot effectively and has great pace, balance, agility and coordination," said Brett Neiderman, head coach of Dublin Coffman High. "He sees the field so well and can pick the killer pass to unlock another team’s defense."

 Milhoan has made a verbal commitment to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Xavier University beginning in the fall of 2017.

 The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Milhoan joins recent Gatorade Ohio Boys Soccer Players of the Year Chris Brennan (2014-15, Copley High School), Jack Clark (2013-14, Mason High School), Sam Bascom (2012-13, Madeira High School), Matt Foldesy (2011–12, St. Ignatius High School), Wil Trapp (2010–11 & 2009-10, Lincoln High School), Matt Wiet (2008–09, Worthington Kilbourne High School), Nick Blevins (2007-08, Bloom Carroll High School), and Lamar Skeeter (2006-07, Fairmont High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

Again, congratulations from this old-timer, who has had the privilege to cover and report on some of Steve's many accomplishments on the pitch. And congratulations to Steve's family, Coach McLaughlin, Steve's teammates and the entire Saint Ignatius Soccer Program.


Coach Mike McLaughlin's remarkable Varsity Soccer Program receives its MaxPreps National Champion Trophy during halftime of Tuesday night's Basketball Game

By Eddie Dwyer

Cleveland, Ohio - The Soccer Cats, who were also co-National Champions by USA Today, were ranked No. 1 through MaxPreps' computer ratings system, which included more than 10,000 schools nationwide.

Coach Mike McLaughlin's Wildcats, who finished their fall to recall with a record of 22-0-1 and added an Ohio-best seventh Division I State Championship to the record sixth state title they brought home in 2014, garnered the nation's top spot for the third time in the illustrious career of Coach McLaughlin '85.
The Soccer Cats join Coach Chuck Kyle's Football Wildcats as three-time National Champions..
Coach McLaughlin's other NSCAA national titles came in 2005 and 2010.
After facing what Coach McLaughlin described as the most demanding schedule in the program's rich history, Saint Ignatius Soccer will enter next season having won its final 16 matches of 2015. The Soccer Cats now carry an unbeaten streak of 36 consecutive matches, a mark that dates back to the 2014 state title run. USA Today pointed to the Wildcats' schedule as being a big factor in its decision to crown two national champs, Saint Ignatius and St. Benedict's Prep out of Newark, New Jersey.
Saint Ignatius outscored its opponents this past season, 127-11. That includes a 48-2 mark in the seven OHSAA postseason tournament matches. The 127 goals are two shy of the mark set by the Cats' 2000 State Final Four Team.
Along with his three national titles and seven state championships, Coach McLaughlin has a 21 year Head Coaching mark at his alma mater of 353-46-44. That record includes a 94-14 record in the OHSAA postseason. Mike's teams have won 15 District Championships, 11 Regional titles and have now made 11 State Final Four appearances.
And a final record that truly shows the character of the student athletes who are guided by Coach McLaughlin and his outstanding staff is that 2015 marked the 17th consecutive season that the Soccer Cats were declared NSCAA Team Academic All-Americans.
Again, THANK YOU from this old-timer for having the privilege and pleasure to have covered and reported on Coach McLaughlin's Men for Others, Men of exceptional skill, class and character.


It's official. Coach Mike McLaughlin's Varsity Soccer Cats are Co-National Champions with St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, New Jersey) in the final USA Today Super 25/National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll for the 2015 season.

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit November 2015

Ohio City - Coach Mike McLaughlin's Wildcats, who finished their fall to recall with a record of 22-0-1 and added an Ohio-best seventh Division I State Championship to the record sixth state title they brought home last season, garnered the nation's top spot for the third time in the illustrious career of Coach McLaughlin '85.

The Soccer Cats now join Coach Chuck Kyle's Football Wildcats as three-time National Champions. Saint Ignatius' Crew Program has also made its mark on the national level.

Coach McLaughlin's other NSCAA national titles came  in 2005 and 2010.

After facing what Coach McLaughlin described as the most demanding schedule in the program's rich history, Saint Ignatius Soccer will enter next season having won its final 16 matches of 2015. The Soccer Cats now carry an unbeaten streak of 36 consecutive matches, a mark that dates back to last season's state title run. USA Today pointed to the Wildcats' schedule as being a big factor in its decision to crown two national champs.


Saint Ignatius outscored its opponents this season, 127-11. That includes a 48-2 mark in the seven OHSAA postseason tournament matches. The 127 goals are two shy of the mark set by the Cats' 2000 State Final Four Team.

Along with his three national titles and seven state championships, Coach McLaughlin has a 21 year Head Coaching mark at his alma mater of 353-46-44. That record includes a 94-14 record in the OHSAA postseason. Mike's teams have won 15 District Championships, 11 Regional titles and have now made 11 State Final Four appearances.

And a final record that truly shows the character of the student athletes who are guided by Coach McLaughlin and his outstanding staff is that this year marks the 17th consecutive season that the Soccer Cats were declared NSCAA Team Academic All-Americans.

As for the other polls, the Soccer Cats remain No. 1 by MaxPreps and they finished second to St. Benedict's Prep in the Top Drawer Fab 50 National Poll.

For a look at the Soccer Cats' Fall Sports Awards Ceremony, see the corner's post from Monday night/Tuesday morning.



Saint Ignatius Soccer is No.1 in the NSCAA /USA Today Super 25 National Rankings!

By Eddie Dwyer

Ohio City - Coach Mike McLaughlin's Wildcats, who compiled a 22-0-1 record against arguably the toughest schedule in the nation, and brought home their seventh state championship by defeating Hilliard Davidson, 4-0, in last weekend's Division I State Championship match on the pitch at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus (see the corner's story from Saturday), garnered the top national spot over New Jersey power St. Benedict's Prep (18-0-0).

The Cats were ranked second to St. Benedict's in last week's National Soccer Coaches Association of America/ USA Today Super 25.

The only other Ohio team to crack the Super 25 poll was St. Francis DeSales out of Columbus. Unranked last week, the Stallions earned the 21st spot with a record of 19-2-2.

The Soccer Cats, who ran the table as the top-ranked, big-school program in Ohio this fall, added a seventh state title to the record sixth they won in 2014 by outscoring their seven OHSAA postseason tournament opponents, 48-2. Their 4-0 margin of victory in Saturday's OHSAA State Championship match was the largest in the history of the Division I state soccer finals. The Cats scored 127 goals this season, just two shy of tying the program's all-time mark set by the 2000 state final four team. Along with the seven state championships, Saint Ignatius Soccer was also crowned NSCAA National Champions in 2005 and 2010.

Coach McLaughlin's Cats will enter next season on a 36-match unbeaten streak.

A huge Congratulations from the corner goes out to Coach McLaughlin, his outstanding Assistant Coaches and Team Managers, and of course the Soccer Cats, who were led by what Coach McLaughlin described as the finest senior foursome of captains in Saint Ignatius' rich soccer history, Hunter Gordon, Lawrence Karpeh, John Duldner and Hayden Parente, and gifted junior forward Steve Milhoan.

Gordon and Karpeh are University of Pittsburgh recruits and Milhoan has committed to Xavier University.      


A Magnificent Seventh! Saint Ignatius Soccer, behind goals by Steve Milhoan, Hayden Parente, Riley Houde and Lawrence Karpeh, added another Division I State Title to the record sixth it won last season by defeating Hilliard Davidson, 4-0, Saturday

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit, November 2015

FROM A SUN-DRENCHED MAPFRE STADIUM IN COLUMBUS, OHIO - Saint Ignatius entered Saturday's 40h annual OHSAA State Championships as the top-ranked team in Ohio and the second-ranked team in the nation.

Coach Mike McLaughlin's Soccer Cats closed their season at 22-0-1 after facing what Coach McLaughlin described as the most demanding schedule in the program's rich history.

Saint Ignatius will enter next season having won its final 16 matches of 2015. The Soccer Cats are now unbeaten in 36 consecutive matches, a mark that dates back to last season's state-title run.

As Coach McLaughlin emphasized, his Soccer Cats started this season as the No. 1 team in the state and ended it that way, with authority.

Saint Ignatius' seventh state soccer championship comes on the heels of the fourth state team cross country championship won by the Cats' harriers on November 7, making it truly a fall to recall for Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School.

A BATTLE OF WILDCATS: The Wildcats from Hilliard Davidson, coming off a 2-1 upset over the Mason Comets in Wednesday night's state semifinals, closed their season 18-2-3. Mason, which tied Saint Ignatius during the regular season, was ranked second in Ohio and fourth in the nation.

Better known for its prowess on the gridiron, Davidson was the Division I state soccer champion in 2007 and also advanced to the state soccer final four in 1996.

Riding the emotion of its victory over Mason, Davidson came out with a spirited approach and stayed with Saint Ignatius for nearly the first 30 minutes.

However, as has been the case throughout this late summer and fall, Saint Ignatius' exceptional talent and depth have a way of wearing the opponent down.

And it was no different on what was a crisp, but perfect mid-November day in the State Capital.

First it was gifted junior forward Steve Milhoan, an Xavier University recruit, with a goal off an exceptional assist from soccer-savvy senior midfielder/captain Hayden Parente with 10 minutes and 10 seconds remaining in the first half. It was Steve's 29th goal of the season and the 49th of his young, but oh so exceptional career.

It stayed that way until Parente came to the fore again with an authoritative unassisted goal with 20:41 remaining in the final 40 minutes. It was Hayden's 14th goal of 2015.

With Saint Ignatius junior goalkeeper Lodge Dils and the trademark Cats' defense starting to take its toll on Davidson, Coach McLaughlin's soccer-rich team made it a 3-0 match on a net-blaster by junior midfielder Riley Houde that came courtesy of another assist from the ever-present Parente.

Houde, who finished with 11 goals this fall, scored the winning goal in Saint Ignatius' 2-1, Sudden Victory Overtime triumph over Toledo St. John's Jesuit at Wednesday night's state semifinal on the pitch at Sandusky Perkins High School.

Getting endless support throughout the afternoon from both its Student Body and talented School Band/Orchestra, Saint Ignatius left no doubt when multi-skilled senior forward/captain Lawrence Karpeh went unassisted for the fourth and final goal with just under five minutes remaining.

A University of Pittsburgh recruit, it was Karpeh's 19th goal of the season and the 30th of his career for the product of Saint Ignatius of Antioch elementary school.

One of the bright spots for Davidson was the effort put forth by goalkeeper David Hoyle.

Hoyle, who turned in 15 saves in the upset of Mason and seven in a regional-final victory over Dublin Jerome, finished with seven saves on Saturday.

Dils totaled four saves as Saint Ignatius outshot Davidson, 20-4. Coach McLaughlin's Cats finished their magnificent season with 127 goals, just two shy of tying the school record set by the 2000 state final four team.

FROM STEVE MILHOAN: "It all came from Hayden (Parente), I give him all of the credit," Steve said of his goal. "He picked his head up and saw me making that diagonal run. It was a beautiful ball. I just happened to tap it home.

"This means everything," Steve continued in reference to state championship No. 7. "We fought all year. We're family and there is no greater experience than this. I love these guys. We knew it was a tough schedule and knew that with that target on our back, we had to come in and work hard every day. And that is exactly what we did."

FROM HAYDEN PARENTE: "With just four seniors, we knew it would be hard to accomplish what we just did," Hayden said. "I will always remember playing with these 18 guys."

Hayden, nicknamed "Cub" when he first began playing in Saint Ignatius' storied soccer program, described his goal as "just ripping it top net." That rip was followed by Hayden running over and saluting Saint Ignatius' exceptional Student Body support.   

LAWRENCE KARPEH: "This will be a great memory," said the young man whose soccer talents were obvious the first time he stepped on a pitch wearing the Blue and Gold. "I will always cherish playing with Hayden, Hunter (senior defense Hunter Gordon) and Duldner (senior midfielder John Duldner)."

Gordon, also a University Pittsburgh recruit, and Duldner, who scored both goals in last year's 2-1 state championship match victory over Olentangy Liberty, round out Coach McLaughlin's exceptional four seniors and captains.

"We gave everything we had until the end, all four of us," Karpeh said. "I'm sure we have no energy left. I love the way I play and the way my brothers play with me. I got the last goal and something always happens for a reason. The ball came right to me in the box at the right time. Something always happens for a reason, so I guess God wanted me to score the last goal. I'm proud of everyone on the team and I want to tell them Thank You!"

FROM COACH MCLAUGHLIN, WHO NOW HAS 353 CAREER VICTORIES, INCLUDING 94 WINS IN THE OHSAA POSTSEASON, TO GO ALONG WITH HIS SEVEN STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS AND TWO NATIONAL TITLES (2005 and 2010): "I'm super proud of them. What a great group of human beings, students and soccer players. Those were four of the finest seniors (Gordon, Duldner, Karpeh and Parente) to ever wear our jersey. And you win with your seniors. It's your seniors who take you to this point and get it done. It was a small group in terms of numbers, but the qualities of those four seniors were tremendous."        


A matchup of Wildcats. Saint Ignatius' state and nationally acclaimed Soccer Program, the defending and record six-time Division I state champion, will face Hilliard Davidson on Saturday at noon in the 40th annual OHSAA Boys State Soccer Finals.

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit November 2015

Ohio City - Saturday's high noon big-school state championship match showdown will take place at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus.

Coach Mike McLaughlin's Wildcats, ranked No. 1 in Ohio and second in the nation, will take a 21-0-1 record and a 15-match winning streak into Saturday's encounter with the Wildcats from Hilliard Davidson. Ohio City's Cats are also on a 35-match unbeaten streak that dates back to last season's record sixth state championship run.

Hilliard Davidson is making its first appearance in a state championship soccer match since 2007, when the team from Franklin County defeated Massillon Jackson, 2-1, in the Division I title game. Davidson also advanced to the state final four in 1996.

Davidson, which sports an 18-1-3 record and is ranked 10th in Ohio, earned the right to face Saint Ignatius by upsetting Mason, 2-1, in Wednesday night's OHSAA state semifinals. Mason, which tied Saint Ignatius, 1-1, in the Olentangy Liberty Classic, was ranked No. 2 in Ohio and fourth in the nation.

The Comets from Mason closed their season at 19-1-2.  

Saint Ignatius, making its 11th state final four appearance, set up its opportunity for a seventh OHSAA Division I State Soccer Championship by defeating a gritty Toledo St. John's Jesuit team, 2-1, in Sudden Victory Overtime at Wednesday night's state semifinal on the pitch at Sandusky Perkins High School (see the corner's story from Wednesday night).

OHSAA take note. Sandusky Perkins not only has an impressive athletic facility, but the home of the Pirates was a great host.

Better known around OHSAA circles for its prowess on the gridiron, Hilliard Davidson's soccer program carries with it a motto of "Effort, Attitude, and Desire Above All!"

Davidson's postseason run, which included a 2-1 "upset" of Dublin Jerome in the regional finals, saw it rally from a 1-0 deficit against Mason. All of the scoring came in the first half, as Davidson knotted the match at 1 behind a goal by Bryce Curran and scored what turned out to be the winning goal when Ryan Schoener sent a free kick to the Mason box, where Tanner Montgomery sent it home. Following a 2-1 loss to Westerville South on Oct. 15, Davidson has compiled a six-match winning streak.

Another huge storyline to Hilliard Davidson's victory over Mason was the play of goalkeeper David Hoyle. Mason had 26 total shots, 13 in each half, including 16 shots on goal. But Hoyle was there to turn away 15 of those shots on goal. Hoyle also had seven saves in the regional final victory over Dublin Jerome.   

Saint Ignatius, which under Coach McLaughlin '85 has written the book on effort, attitude and desire, turned away a determined bunch of Titans from St. John's Jesuit behind goals by juniors Tommy Patacca and Riley Houde (again, see the corner's game story from Wednesday night). Tommy's and Riley's efforts give Saint Ignatius 123 goals for the season. The program's record, according to the school's "Cat Stats," is 129 by the 2000 state final four team.    

Helping fuel a potent offense that complements a relentless defense, is gifted junior forward Steve Milhoan, an Xavier University recruit. Steve has 28 goals this season and 48 for his career.

Saturday will mark the last performance by four of the finest seniors and captains in Saint Ignatius' rich soccer history, midfielders John Duldner and Hayden Parente, forward Lawrence Karpeh and one of the top back-line defenders to ever wear the Blue and Gold, Hunter Gordon. Lawrence and Hunter are University of Pittsburgh recruits.

Coach McLaughlin, who, like Cats' solid sophomore defender Matthew Trickett, doubled as a soccer player and a place kicker for the football team during his athletic career at Saint Ignatius, will take a career record of 352-46-44 into Saturday's state championship match, including 93 victories in the OHSAA playoffs. Along with the record six state championships, Mike has guided his alma mater to NSCAA National titles in 2005 and 2010.

We'll see you in Columbus on Saturday at high noon, when Saint Ignatius' Student Body promises to raise the roof. 




An abundance of will and fight. Riley Houde and Tommy Patacca help lead Saint Ignatius Soccer past a gritty St. John's Jesuit team, 2-1, in Sudden Victory Overtime in Wednesday night's Division I State Semifinal matchup at Sandusky Perkins High School.

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit November 2015

Sandusky, Ohio - Just seconds after he completed the biggest play in his young career at Saint Ignatius, Wildcats junior midfielder Riley Houde said he is not good at interviews.

But oh my, Riley, an unsung performer, sure can play soccer.

Houde, displaying his savvy and speed, sent Coach Mike McLaughlin's defending and record six-time Division I State Champion Wildcats into another state-championship match appearance by scoring a breakaway goal with 8 minutes and 32 seconds remaining in Sudden Victory Overtime against a determined St. John's Jesuit team. The OHSAA Sudden Victory Overtime period is 15 minutes.    

Riley's efforts, in what was a heart-pounding state semifinal matchup in the outstanding athletic facility at Perkins High School on Wednesday night, helped Saint Ignatius improve to 21-0-1 and earn a big-school title game matchup with Hilliard Davidson on Saturday at high noon in MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus. This week and weekend mark the 40th annual OHSAA Boys State Soccer Championships.

The Wildcats, ranked No. 1 in Ohio and second in the Top  Drawer Soccer/Sima Fab 50 National Poll, will be taking on a Hilliard Davidson program that pulled off a major upset during Wednesday night's state semifinals - a 2-1 victory over Mason.

Hilliard Davidson, which now carries a record of 18-1-3 and is ranked 10th in Ohio, defeated a Mason team that was ranked second in the state and fourth in the Sima Fab 50 national rankings. It will be a battle of the Wildcats in Saturday's title showdown.

"There is nothing harder than this, the team's going 100 percent all of the time," said Houde after his 10th goal of the season brought a roar from Saint Ignatius' outstanding Student Body support that could be heard from Erie County to Ohio City. "If we let up for a second, they're on our back line the whole time. So everything we do, we have to make it count. We always have to bring our best."

Not good at interviews? Well, in the 45 years I have been covering high school athletics, I think Houde's interview skills are as underrated as the talents he brings to the soccer pitch.

"It wasn't much, I don't have the foot skills like Milhoan (Saint Ignatius' gifted junior forward Steve Milhoan) or the strength of Lawrence (Wildcats multi-skilled senior forward Lawrence Karpeh)," said the humble and amiable Houde, while discussing his game-winner with this old-timer, which came off Milhoan's 19th assist of the season. "I just use my speed. I just busted as hard as I could and ran as fast as I could. I just put it over the goalie. I worked my butt off, and that was the end result.

"I could definitely see it (the ball) coming," Houde continued. "The other guy (the Titan defender), I knew he was fast, too. So I just had to take off and go. Nothing better than scoring the winning goal in front of our school (classmates). Those are the brothers I play for. Nothing better than that."

In what was a tense, lay-it-all-out effort from both teams, Saint Ignatius took a 1-0 lead on a goal by one of its hard-nosed and ever-present defenders, junior Tommy Patacca.

Tommy's goal, his fifth this fall, came with 10:35 left in the first half and was courtesy of an assist from the high soccer IQ of senior midfielder Hayden Parente.

"I just did what I was supposed to do," Patacca said. "I was running, I go front post and the ball was there. So I put it where it was supposed to go. It was just, right Tommy, good finish. This is what Coach (McLaughlin) prepares us for. All of those city runs, the down and back field sprints and after practice fitness, this is what it's for."

St. John's Jesuit, which also was defeated by Saint Ignatius, 5-2, in a 2010 State Semifinal at Rocky River High School, knotted the score at 1 on a goal by talented junior midfielder/forward Zach Buescher with 5:53 left in the first 40 minutes.

The Wildcats, who were making their 11th State Final Four appearance on Wednesday night, had a number of opportunities in a scoreless second half, including shots that either hit the post, sailed high or went wide.

But that by no means takes away from the outstanding play of Titans senior goalkeeper Stephen Wainz, who had six saves, including five diving efforts and a leaping stretch turn away. Saint Ignatius outshot St. John's Jesuit, 20-8.

St. John's Jesuit, the pride of Toledo, closed its outstanding season at 15-4-3. Two of those four defeats were to Saint Ignatius, as the Soccer Cats also turned back the Titans, 1-0, in the Ohio Jesuit Cup final at Wasmer Field on Aug. 30th.


"The season prepares you for the end," Coach McLaughlin said. "We traveled and played a really tough schedule to get ready for tonight. I really think that the schedule we played, and the opponents and the traveling, and how competitive that was, made us ready for tonight. It doesn't matter how long it takes.

"These games have a chance to bring out the true spirit of the team," continued the man who has been recognized more than once as an All-American-caliber coach nationwide. "And I think tonight, this game really did. We can play soccer, these kids all know how to play soccer. It's when you can tap into that spirit to get out there and fight for each other, that is what takes you over the hurdle to do great things."       



For the second time since 2010, Saint Ignatius and Toledo St. John's Jesuit High School and Academy will be playing for the right to advance to the OHSAA Division I State Soccer Championship Match

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit November 2015

Ohio City - Coach Mike McLaughlin's Wildcats, who are coming off a dominant 9-1 victory over previously undefeated Green in a Regional Championship matchup this past weekend, will face Coach Thomas Shook's Titans from Toledo St. John's Jesuit in Wednesday's 7 PM State Semifinal match on the pitch at Sandusky Perkins High School.

The defending big-school State Champion Soccer Cats, ranked No. 1 in the Division I state poll and second in the nation, will take a record of 20-0-1 into what will be their second encounter with the Titans this season and the second time since 2010 that these gifted programs have met in the state final four.

St. John's Jesuit, which stands 15-3-3 after its 2-0 Regional Championship triumph over Strongsville, was defeated by Saint Ignatius, 1-0, in the finals of the annual Ohio Jesuit Cup on August 30th during what was a humid Sunday afternoon at Wasmer Field. A goal by University of Pittsburgh recruit Hunter Gordon off an assist from fellow University of Pittsburgh recruit Lawrence Karpeh, along with another strong effort by the Cats' defense, enabled Saint Ignatius to take possession of what is its seventh Ohio Jesuit Cup Varsity Soccer Championship.

In 2010, on their way to the fourth of their record six OHSAA Division I Boys State Soccer Championships, the Wildcats defeated St. John's Jesuit, 5-2, in a state semifinal matchup at Rocky River High School.

While two-time (2005 and 2010) National Champion Saint Ignatius will be making its 11th state final four appearance on Wednesday night, St. John's is gearing up for its third final four in soccer. In 2002, the Titans were defeated by eventual state champion Hudson, 3-1, in a state semifinal at Cleveland State University.

"I am really excited, it feels even better when you're a senior and it's your last stop with these guys, my teammates, my brothers," said Karpeh of what is his second consecutive trip to the final four. Karpeh, Gordon and senior midfielders Hayden Parente and John Duldner comprise one of the strongest set of captains, on and off the pitch, in Coach McLaughlin's rich history at his alma mater.

Among those supporting Coach McLaughlin's fabulous senior foursome is multi-skilled junior forward and Xavier University recruit Steve Milhoan. Steve is a prolific scorer and playmaker.

St. John's Jesuit, which was not ranked in the final coaches state poll, corralled the Mustangs from Strongsville in the second half of Saturday's Regional Final. The match was played at Sandusky Perkins High School.

After a scoreless first 40 minutes, the Titans took a 1-0 lead on a penalty kick by junior midfielder/forward Zach Buescher with less than five minutes gone in the second half. With 29 minutes remaining to be played, sophomore forward/midfielder Caleb Gibbons accounted for the match's second and final goal. Buescher's brother, Camden, was recently named to the All-Big Ten Freshmen Team as a soccer mainstay for Northwestern University.

The Titans outshot the Mustangs, 10-4, including 5-1 in the second half.

Wednesday night's Titans-Wildcats encounter will feature two of the finest goalkeepers the state has to offer in Saint Ignatius junior Lodge Dils and St. John's Jesuit senior Stephen Wainz.

As for the Wildcats' defense, it has taken its play to even a high level in the postseason.

Entering the final four, the Cats have outscored their five playoff opponents by a combined score of 42-1. That lone goal came from Green in the late stages of Saturday's regional final.

"This is their chance," said Coach McLaughlin '85 of his 2015 Soccer Cats. "To see them make the most of it is really exciting."

Coach McLaughlin enters the state semifinals with a career record of 351-46-44, including a 92-14 mark in the OHSAA playoffs.

The other half of the Division I state final four matches Mason (19-0-2), the second-ranked team in the state, and Hilliard Davidson (17-1-3), Ohio's 10th-ranked program. Saint Ignatius and Mason played to a 1-1 tie on September 12th at the Olentangy Liberty Classic.       



Lawrence Karpeh ignites the offense with three first-half goals and he and fellow senior captain Hayden Parente both produce hat tricks during the Soccer Cats' 9-1 victory over Green in Saturday's Regional Championship Match

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit November 2015

From the pitch at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School -  Lawrence Karpeh's hat trick and a goal by gifted junior forward Steve Milhoan led the Cats to a 4-1 advantage by halftime and the top-ranked program in Ohio and second-ranked team in the nation went on to overwhelm the Green  Bulldogs, 9-1, in what was a matchup of unbeaten teams.

The second-half domination, which saw savvy senior midfielder Hayden Parente score three of Saint Ignatius' five goals over the final 40 minutes, put the seal on what was the most impressive offensive output in a regional final by the storied soccer program from Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School.

With the victory, Coach Mike McLaughlin's defending and record six-time Division I state champions improved to 20-0-1, brought home the Wildcats' 11th Regional Soccer Championship, extended their unbeaten streak to 34 matches and advanced to Wednesday night's State Semifinal encounter with Toledo St. John's Jesuit at a site to be determined.

The Titans from St. John's Jesuit, who were defeated by Saint Ignatius, 1-0, in this year's Jesuit Cup final on August 30th at Wasmer Field, earned a rematch with the Cats by defeating Strongsville, 2-0, in Saturday's other regional-final action. The victory puts St. John's Jesuit at 15-3-3 entering Wednesday night's final four encounter with Saint Ignatius.

THE KARPEH FACTOR: With the Wildcats' defense and the play of junior goalkeeper Lodge Dils keeping the Bulldogs at bay, Lawrence's graceful, yet powerful footwork took over offensively.

An athletic turnaround move by Karpeh that he complemented with an authoritative on-the money shot gave Saint Ignatius a 1-0 led with 19:35 remaining in the first half. Gritty junior defender Tommy Patacca assisted.

A little more than four minutes later, Karpeh took an assist from junior forward Alex Gotsky and unleashed another display of strong and smooth footwork, with the result being a 2-0 lead for Coach McLaughlin's Cats.

After standout junior forward Steve Milhoan pushed Saint Ignatius' lead to 3-0 by breaking down the Green defense with his text-book goal, the Bulldogs scored on a goal that saw sophomore midfielder Nicholas McCausland put forth a solid individual effort of getting the ball up field and sending off a scoring shot just as pressure was arriving.

McCausland's hustle and determination made it a two-goal deficit with 7 minutes and 52 seconds left to be played in the first half.

Just when the faithful from the visitor's stands were back in the match, Karpeh said not today.

Karpeh, who along with senior forward and fellow captain Hunter Gordon, is bound for the University of Pittsburgh next year, went Hat Trick City unassisted as he sent a shot into the goal at the bleacher end of Brecksville-Broadview Heights' impressive athletic facility that was smoking from the moment it left his foot.

That goal gave the Cats a 4-1 lead and the confidence and enthusiasm that flowed throughout the first half carried over in close-out fashion over the final 40 minutes.

And helping slam the door was senior midfielder/captain Hayden Parente.

Known as "Cub" when he broke into the Wildcats' program as a wide-eyed freshman and sophomore, Parente now plays with the roar of a lion.

Combining his relentless effort and controlled aggressiveness, Parente joined Karpeh with a three-goal day and Wildcats assistant coaches were shaking their heads trying to recall if two Saint Ignatius players ever pulled that off before in the same regional-level match.

Back in September, in a regular-season match, multi-skilled senior midfielder/captain John Duldner set a new Saint Ignatius single-game record with seven goals.

Joining Hayden in the soring column over the final 40 minutes were junior midfielders Adam Collins and Johne Vrablic, as Johne nearly broke the defender's ankles with his move to the goal.

Among those providing the second-half assists was junior midfielder Scott Rolko and laying down some discouraging defense throughout the afternoon were Patacca, Gordon, junior midfielder Riley Houde, sophomore Matt Trickett and junior Adam Hass. Saint Ignatius' final stats showed the Cats outshooting Green, 22-9. The Cats had 15 shots on goal to the Bulldogs' seven.  

FROM LAWRENCE KARPEH: "I knew we had three more games left hopefully (Saturday's regional final and next week's final four)," Lawrence said of the manner in which he came out and took charge offensively against Green. "We just have to give everything we have left. I told myself today that I have to take every chance I get. It's wasn't always going to be pretty, but the chances I got, I took them.

"I had to do it for the team, be composed up top and just relax and finish the ball," Lawrence continued. "I think I did well in this match for them, my teammates. We're going to get better and better as we move forward. I'm excited."

FROM COACH MIKE MCLAUGHLIN '85: "We're a lot different today than we were back then," said Coach McLaughlin in reference to the late August matchup with St. John's Jesuit. "We've gotten better and better as the season has gone on.

"Every group of kids enjoy it in a different way," Coach McLaughlin said of what will be his program's 11th state final four appearance. "It's a pleasure going through it with this group of kids. To see them make the most of it is really exciting."

MORE CAT STATS: According to the statistics in the Saint Ignatius All Sports Program, the record for goals scored in a season is 129 by the 2000 state final four team. The 2015 Cats currently have 121 goals.       



The Soccer Cats, behind a smothering defense and a quick-strike offense, control the tempo from the get-go and go on to defeat Solon, 4-0, in Wednesday night's Division I Regional Semifinal match at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School

Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit November 2015

Brecksville-Broadview Heights - With the 4-0 triumph, Coach Mike McLaughlin's nationally acclaimed Cats improve their record to 19-0-1, extend their unbeaten streak to 33 matches and advance to Saturday's high noon Regional Championship matchup with the Green Bulldogs on the pitch at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School. Green also sports a 19-0-1 record.

For former Wildcats soccer great and current Assistant Coach Mark Blades '06, a regional final encounter with Green was just what he was hoping for. In the fall of 2003, Mark, then a sophomore, and his Saint Ignatius teammates were defeated by the Bulldogs in regional semifinal play at Wash Jesuit in a controversial shootout.

Green advanced to play Saint Ignatius by defeating Shaker Heights, 1-0, in Wednesday night's Regional Semifinal at Revere High School. Bulldogs junior Kyle Genetin scored off a header eight minutes into the second half. The assist came from senior Patrick Anstine. Green has now posted four consecutive postseason shutouts.    

Defending and record six-time state champion Saint Ignatius, ranked No. 1 in Ohio and second in the nation, will be seeking its 11th OHSAA Regional Championship on Saturday. The Soccer Cats also have two national titles (2005 and 2010) on their resume.

"Coming in tonight, we knew Solon could be a threat," said Wildcats outstanding junior forward and Xavier University recruit Steve Milhoan, who got the offense clicking on Wednesday night with an authoritative goal from inside the box with 18 minutes and 43 seconds remaining in the first half.

"We knew we had to raise our level," Milhoan continued. "That was the mindset all week in training. Our boys worked hard and then came out here and we put on the pressure in the first half. That was awesome."

Awesome and too much for the Comets to deal with the second time around.

In a regular season match at Solon back in September, Saint Ignatius came away with a 1-0 victory.

"It just kind of popped out, I just happened to be there, ran into it and just smashed it as hard as I could," Milhoan said of his tone-setting blast, his 27th goal on the season that came off an assist from gifted senior midfielder and captain Hayden Parente.

"It's playoffs and it's tough to beat a team twice in a season," Milhoan continued. "They wanted revenge from the last time and our boys knew that's what they wanted. So we had to take it up a level and continue to press."

Limiting Solon to only three shots on goal for the night, the Wildcats went up 2-0 on a 25-yard missile by junior forward Alex Gotsky with 15:21 to go in the first half. Saint Ignatius held a 3-0 by halftime after junior midfielder Adam Collins beat his man for an unassisted goal.

After the Comets' highly respected senior goalkeeper Will Meyer made some impressive saves in the early stages of the second half, including a diving one-handed bat away off another sizzling shot by Milhoan, Coach McLaughlin's team closed the scoring on a goal by gritty junior defender Tommy Patacca off anther assist from Parente with 10 minutes and 11 seconds remaining to be played.

Meyer finished with seven saves and the Comets closed their season at 13-3-4.

Although he needed to make just two saves, Wildcats 6-foot-4 junior goalkeeper Lodge Dils again displayed his athleticism and keen sense of where to be on the pitch. Saint Ignatius had 23 shots and 10 corner kicks.

The Cats have not allowed a goal in four postseason matches and have outscored those four opponents by a combined score of 33-0.  

"From this stage forward, it really matters that you start strong, in the middle you're strong and in the end you're strong," said Coach McLaughlin '85, who has built his alma mater's soccer program into one of the strongest and most respected the nation has to offer. "There can't be any surprises.

"So I'm pleased that we didn't give them any chances to play tonight," Coach McLaughlin continued. "We smothered them with our style. We smothered them defensively and we were dangerous when we had the ball. We made it very, very hard for them to get into any type of rhythm and the goals we scored were great individual goals."



Here are this week's top 10 national teams in the Top Drawer Soccer.Com Sima Fab 50 Fall Rankings. The Soccer Cats remain in the second spot.

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

*The rankings are compiled by the poll's High School Rankings Editor Sheldon Shealer. Here are Sheldon's Top 10 programs, along with his comments.  

Rank (Prev.)SchoolRecord
1 (1) St. Benedict's Prep Newark, NJ 16-0-0
St. Benedict's ran its win streak to 29 with victories over Don Bosco Prep and Peddie School last week. The Gray Bees handled former SIMA FAB 50-ranked Don Bosco Prep 5-0 on goals from five different players. In the Prep A semifinals, Victor Villagomez scored twice in a 3-1 decision over Peddie.
2 (2)  Saint Ignatius Cleveland, OH 18-0-1
Saint Ignatius rolled up 17 goals in a pair of victories en route to the district title. In the district final, the Wildcats routed Lakewood 7-0.
3 (3) McDonogh School Owings Mills, MD 19-0-1
George Mason commit Tunde Akinlosotu had a goal and two assists as McDonogh closed out a third straight undefeated regular season with a 5-1 win over John Carroll.
4 (4) Mason Mason, OH 17-0-2
Mason defeated Springboro 2-0 last week to win the district final and set up a showdown with SIMA FAB 50-ranked Elder this week.
5 (6)
Central Bucks East Doylestown, PA 20-0-0
Central Bucks East needed penalty kicks to escape an upset bid from North Penn. The District 1-AAA quarterfinal win sends Central Bucks East into this week's semifinals and earns the team a berth in the state tournament regardless what happens this week.
6 (8)
Forest Hills Central Grand Rapids, MI 21-0-3
Jake Ireland and C.J. Strawser scored the goals as Forest Hills Central defeated Portage Northern 2-0 to advance to this week's state semifinals.
7 (9)
Evanston Township Evanston, IL 21-1-3
Zane Kashner assisted the first two goals as Evanton defeated Leyden 3-1 to win the Glenbrook North sectional.
8 (11)
Conestoga Berwyn, PA 18-0-1
Conestoga defeated Abington 4-0 to advance to this week's District 1-AAA semifinals. The win over Abington secured a spot in next week's PIAA Class AAA state tournament for Conestoga.
9 (19)
Morton Cicero, IL 24-2-0
Billy Castro made a game-winning stop in a shootout as Morton defeated Downers Grove South on penalty kicks in the section final. The win sends the Mustangs into this week's Super Sectional with a berth in the state semifinals on the line.
10 (17)
Brentwood Brentwood, NY 17-1-0

Jefferson Portillo scored in the final minute of the second overtime as Brentwood edged Sachem North in a Suffolk AA round of 16 playoff match. Brentwood followed that victory with a more comfortable 3-0 decision over Ward Melville to advance to this week's semifinals.


Coach Mike McLaughlin's state and nationally acclaimed Varsity Soccer Cats advance to Regional play by shutting down the Lakewood Rangers, 7-0, in Saturday's District Championship Match on the pitch at North Royalton

By Eddie Dwyer

The Soccer Cats (18-0-1), ranked No. 1 in Ohio and second in the nation, now have three consecutive shutouts in postseason play and have outscored their opponents by a combined score of 29-0.

With the District Championship victory over Lakewood, Coach Mike McLaughlin's gifted and team-first Cats advance to Wednesday's 7 PM Division I Regional Semifinal matchup with the 13-2-4 Solon Comets on the pitch at Brecksville-Broadview Heights.

On Sept. 3, Saint Ignatius came away with a 1-0 victory over the Comets and their talented goalkeeper Will Meyer at Solon. The defending and record six-time State Champion Wildcats will take a 32-match unbeaten streak into Wednesday's Regional Semifinal.

We'll see you there.  


Saturday's Saint Ignatius versus Lakewood Division I District Soccer Championship matchup will be played at 11 AM on the pitch at North Royalton High School

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The winner between the top-seed and defending  State Champion Soccer Cats and the third-seeded Rangers will advance to Wednesday's (Nov. 4) Regional Semifinal versus the winner of Saturday's District final between Solon and Hudson. Wednesday's Regional Semifinal is scheduled for 7 PM on the pitch at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School.

For a look at the Cats' impressive District Semifinal victory over Normandy, see the corner's post from Wednesday night.  


Senior Captains Lawrence Karpeh, Hayden Parente, John Duldner and Hunter Gordon make their final match on Wasmer Field a special one as they combine for six goals in a 10-0 District Semifinal victory over Normandy

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit October 2010

Ohio City - Lawrence Karpeh led the way on a cool Wednesday evening with a hat trick off three exceptional moves and Hunter Gordon scored the final goal of the night.

Hayden Parente and John Duldner contributed second-half goals after standout junior midfielder Steven Milhoan and gritty juniors Tommy Patacca and Riley Houde combined with Karpeh's first two goals in giving the Wildcats a 5-0 lead by the halftime break.

Karpeh's third goal, another score by Houde and Gordon's closing act, a soft touch into the right corner of the Lorain Avenue net, rounded out the 10-bagger as Coach Mike McLaughlin's Cats improved to 17-0-1, advanced to the Saturday's District Finals and completed an undefeated season on the pitch at Wasmer Field.

Along with their 10-goal night, the Wildcats got some outstanding cross passes from multi-skilled junior midfielder Johne Vrablic.  

Top-seeded Saint Ignatius, the No. 1-ranked soccer program in Ohio and the second-ranked team in the nation to St. Benedict's out of Newark, New Jersey, will take a 31-match unbeaten streak into Saturday's District Championship Game versus third-seeded Lakewood. That unbeaten streak dates back to the final 13 matches in last year's record sixth Division I State Championship Season.

Coach McLaughlin emphasized that Saturday's matchup will be played at either Bedford Bearcat Stadium or the pitch at North Royalton and the starting time will hopefully be noon if everything can be sorted out. The Lakewood Rangers advanced to play the Wildcats by defeating second-seeded North Royalton, 1-0, in two overtimes on Wednesday night.  


Moments before Saint Ignatius' team prayer, Wildcats nationally acclaimed Head Soccer Coach Mike McLaughlin '85 paid tribute to his team's four seniors.

Lawrence Karpeh, John Duldner, Hayden Parente and Hunter Gordon, who serve as the Soccer Cats' Captains, were not only acknowledged by Coach McLaughlin for their unyielding character and leadership, but spoke of so elegantly by Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant and Junior Varsity Coach Jim Brennan '85 in another of Coach Brennan's moving pre-match speeches.

Coach Brennan called on the underclassmen to show their appreciation by making sure that Karpeh, Duldner, Parente and Gordon said goodbye to the field they sweat and bled on undefeated this fall.

In what is a special Thank You from this corner for the kindness and respect these oh so gifted Captains always presented themselves with, here are comments from each one of them on their special closing act at Wasmer Field.

Lawrence Karpeh: "I am going to remember this forever," said the University of Pittsburgh recruit. "It has been great playing on this field and having my family come and watch me. I'm going to miss it a lot. I can never forget it. It's been great playing with these guys and everybody. I am happy with the way that we ended it all (on Wasmer Field), didn't concede a goal and everyone of my brothers scored. Everybody worked together and we just had fun. That's what we have been doing all of our lives, playing soccer."

John Duldner: "It was absolutely fantastic. I mean I have been playing with or against these guys (his teammates) since I was 8. To finish this last Saint Ignatius season on Wasmer with them, it's amazing. These our my brothers out here. We've grown up together and I think we've made a bond. It's just amazing playing together."

Hayden Parente "A group of guys that I will never forget. I can go back to them for whatever I need, text them, hang out. It's not just the game of soccer, it's more of bonding as a family, being out there knocking the ball back and forth. Like out here tonight, we passed the ball around and let different people score. It's not just about the scoring, it's about the team. I don't know what I am going to do next year, when I am not playing on this field with the teammates I have right now. But I'll always come back and support the Wildcats."

Hunter Gordon, also a University of Pittsburgh recruit: "It's special to only have four seniors, it's very rare. The bond is just unreal. To come out here, last game (on Wasmer Field), and have a fantastic game like that where everybody is so cheerful on the field. These last four years have been so special. It's a night I am never going to forget."


"Our goal technically was that we wanted to be really, really sharp with the ball all season," said Coach McLaughlin, who will join Lawrence Karpeh and Hunter Gordon in this year's 5th Annual High School All-American Game in Raleigh, North Carolina in December (see the corner's post from earlier this week). "So we keep having to focus on that.

"The more we can keep the ball, the more we can move it around to where it is going to be harder for teams to play against us," Coach McLaughlin continued. "So that's our goal from a tactical standpoint. The first 10 or 15 minutes (tonight) we were looking to find that rhythm, but we found it. But then that is what teams are going to do against us, throw everything at us until we break it. 

"I'm just pleased that our seniors scored, that's a special thing," Coach McLaughlin said. "These are four great, great young men."

A PROMISING FUTURE: The Normandy Invaders, who closed their season at 10-7-1, started six freshmen on Wasmer Field, including 14-year-old goalie Maksym Makar, who, despite the final score, came up with some impressive stops.        



Saint Ignatius Senior Soccer Standouts Lawrence Karpeh and Hunter Gordon, along with Saint Ignatius' outstanding Head Coach Mike McLaughlin '85, have been selected for the 5th Annual High School All-American Game

By Eddie Dwyer

Ohio City - Lawrence, a gifted senior midfielder, and Hunter, a relentless defender, who both have committed to further their educations and soccer careers at the University of Pittsburgh, and Coach McLaughlin, year in and year out one the premier coaches in the entire nation, are part of the 40 elite players and 8 elite coaches selected to this year's All-American Game.

Coach McLaughlin has had the distinction of being selected to the All-American staff in previous seasons.

This year's All-American Game will be played on Dec. 5th at 2 PM on the pitch at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh, North Carolina.

A huge congratulations from this old-timer goes out to Hunter, Lawrence, Coach McLaughlin and the entire Saint Ignatius Soccer Program.   



And the corner's 17-plus hours of reports wraps up with a huge congratulations to Coach Mike McLaughlin's Soccer Cats, as the top-ranked program in Ohio and second-ranked program in the nation improved to 16-0-1 with a 12-0 sectional win over Bedford

The Cats now advance to Wednesday's District Semifinal play on Wasmer Field at 7 PM.



Ranked second in the nation in the SIMA Fab 50 poll, the Varsity Soccer Cats continue to show the way in the coaches' state poll

By Eddie Dwyer

Here is the latest Division I state soccer poll, which was released by the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association on Monday.

1. Saint Ignatius (Cleveland) 13-0-1 99
2. Mason 10-0-2 84
3. Copley 9-2-1 75
4. Findlay 10-0-2 68
5. Green 12-0-0 56
6. Lebanon 9-0-2 52
7. Berea-Midpark 11-0-1 39
8. Elder (Cincinnati) 9-1-1 32
9. Beavercreek 9-1-2 18
10. Solon 10-1-1 12
Receiving votes: Medina, St. Francis DeSales (Toledo)
Congratulations from the corner go out to Coach Mike McLaughlin's state and nationally acclaimed Varsity Soccer Cats, who defeated the Knights from Martin Luther King, Jr. (Manhattan, NY), 5-0, late Saturday afternoon in a matchup in New York

By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius, which entered the match ranked second in the SIMA Fab 50 National Poll and No. 1 in the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association's Division I state poll , improved to 12-0-1 and extended its unbeaten streak to 26 matches.

In defeating the SIMA Fab 50's ninth-ranked program, the Soccer Cats got goals from senor midfielder John Duldner, junior midfielder Johne Vrablic, junior midfielder Adam Collins, senior forward Lawrence Karpeh and junior forward Alex Gotsky.

Martin Luther King, Jr. entered this week unbeaten. The Knights also have a tie on their record.

Saint Ignatius will close out its trip to New York by playing at undefeated St. Anthony's on Sunday at 1 PM. St. Anthony's was ranked fourth this week in the SIMA Fab 50.     



Congratulations again to the Varsity Soccer Cats, who completed their New York trip with a 4-1 victory over St. Anthony's (Huntington, NY) on Sunday

By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Mike McLaughlin's Wildcats, ranked second in the nation in the SIMA Fab 50 and No. 1 in the state by the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association, improved to 13-0-1 and extended their unbeaten streak to 27 matches behind goals by Steve Milhoan, Alex Gotsky, John Duldner and Hayden Parente.

St. Anthony's entered the matchup undefeated and ranked fourth in the SIMA Fab 50 national rankings.

The Soccer Cats, the defending and record six-time Ohio Division I State Champions, were coming off Saturday's 5-0 victory over previously unbeaten Martin Luther King, Jr. from Manhattan. See the corner's post from Saturday evening.   


The Soccer Cats move up to second place in the SIMA Fab 50 national poll and, as expected, remain No. 1 in the weekly Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association's State Poll

By Eddie Dwyer

Here is the OSSCA State Poll

1. Saint Ignatius 11-0-1 99
2. Jerome (Dublin) 9-0-1 89
3. Mason 7-0-2 75
4. Lebanon 8-0-2 48
5. Findlay 7-0-2 44
6. Green 10-0-0 38
7. Coffman (Dublin) 3-1-1 34
8. Berea-Midpark 10-0-0 30
9. Beavercreek 7-1-1 22
10. Davidson (Hilliard) 9-0-2 19
Receiving votes: Receiving votes: Elder (Cincinnati), Copley, Solon, Medina, St. Francis DeSales (Toledo), Howland (Warren).
Here is a look at the Soccer Cats' matches versus Olentangy Liberty. A huge congratulations goes out to Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Coach Jim Brennan '85 on his 250th career victory!


Posted by Eddie Dwyer


The JVB squad improved to 9-1-0 with a victory over Olentangy Liberty.
The Cats jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first 10 minutes.  They scored again in the second half to push the lead to 3-0 and then held on for the 3-1 win.
They will next play Tuesday out at University School and then Saturday at Walsh Jesuit.
The JVA Cats improved to 10-0-0 for the season with a dramatic come from behind win vs. Liberty.  The Cats fell behind for the first time this year midway through the 1st half on a nice finish past keeper Andrew Clark. The Cats answered a few minutes later as freshman Henry Curtis sent a ball across the box which was finished by junior Joe Kalic, leaving a 1-1 tie at halftime.
The second half saw the Cats have several opportunities on goal, but with under 2 minutes to play junior John Popa drove a left-footed shot off the post for the game-winner.
Clark turned away a final effort by Liberty to earn the win in goal. The JVA Cats are off this week and next play 10/5 at Berea-Midpark.
****Special congratulations to Coach Jim Brennan on the occasion of his 250th win.  Coach Brennan is in his 20th season at the helm of the JV soccer program.  In his 20 years, Coach Brennan has amassed an incredible 250-23-22 record (.847 winning %; .922 non-losing % with ties). 
A 1985 graduate and a mainstay in the Theology Department, Coach Brennan' leadership and inspirational talks have helped form an important base for the success of the varsity program over the years.
The Varsity turned a tight match through the first 25 minutes into a resounding victory 6-0 over the Patriots from Liberty. The anticipated rematch of last year's State Final witnessed both teams have chances early on, but with no result.
The game broke open when junior Adam Collins scored his 6th goal of the season in the 26' after a missed clearance chance by the Liberty defense. As has become a trend this year the Cats quickly added to their lead less than 2 minutes later, as junior Steve Milhoan played a ball to senior Lawrence Karpeh, also his 6th of the season.  As a result, the Cats took a 2-0 lead to halftime, outshooting Liberty 6-5 at the break.
The second half saw the Cats turn up the pressure by outshooting their guests 12-2. After some fine saves by the Liberty keeper, senior John Duldner scored in the 58' minute on a back-post header off a corner kick from Milhoan The goal was Duldner's 11th of the campaign.
One minute later, Milhoan sent a ball to senior Hayden Parente who cheekily chipped the keeper delighting the crowd. In the 73' Karpeh beat several Liberty defenders and then sent his 7th assist to Milhoan who scored to up the lead to 5-0.
Finally, the Cats scored with 5 minutes to play as junior Brandon George passed to Milhoan who blasted a 30m shot past the keeper for his 18th goal of the season (to go along with 11 assists).
Lodge Dils went the distance in goal for his 4th shutout, which saw him make 4 saves.
The Cats (11-0-1) will be tested this week as they travel to New York City to play two nationally ranked teams. On Friday the Cays will visit St. Anthony (Huntington, NY) for a 7:15 match. On Saturday the Cats will play at 4:00 game against Martin Luther King, Jr. Educational Campus (Manhattan, NY).
Joseph Popelka '84
Teacher--Biological Sciences
Soccer Coach   Student Senate Moderator


Here is a look at the Soccer Cats' Thursday night in Hudson, courtesy of Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Coach Joe Popelka
The JV-B team rebounded from their Tuesday loss out at Medina with a resounding victory against the Explorers, 6-1.
They will start off the triple-header on Saturday vs. Olentangy Liberty at 11:00am out on Wasmer Field.
The Cats improved to 9-0-0 this season with hard won victory over Hudson, 3-1. Ryan Mark went the distance in goal for the victory.
The Cats were paced by 2 goals from junior John Popa, as well as the opening goal by junior Joe Kalic.
The JV-A team will play at 1:00 on Saturday.
Another wonderful weather evening served as the background for the Cats' 10th victory of the season, 3-1 vs. Hudson.
Junior Stephen Milhoan continued his scoring blitz by netting another hat trick, giving him 16 goals for the campaign.
The scoring starting in the 31' when Hudson was called for a hand ball in the box. Milhoan calmly placed the ball in the net for a 1-0 lead that held until the half.
In the 51', junior Riley Houde worked the ball down the left side and then found Milhoan alone at the top of the box.  Milhoan beat a couple of defenders and then delivered his second goal of the game past the sprawling keeper.
Three minutes later, junior Alex Gotsky found Milhoan behind the defense. Milhoan chipped the charging keeper for his hat trick. Gotsky provided his 7th assist to date.
Junior Max Heath earned the win in goal while registering a single save. The varsity will play Liberty, the team they beat in the State Final last year, at 3:00pm on Wasmer Field Saturday.

Joseph Popelka '84
Teacher--Biological Sciences
Soccer Coach   Student Senate Moderator


Saint Ignatius' senior midfielder and co-captain John Duldner scores a school-record seven goals as the state's top-ranked Soccer Cats improve to 8-0-1 with a 14-1 victory over Chardon on Wasmer Field Thursday night

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit September 2015

Ohio City - No, they weren't quite as dramatic as the two goals John Duldner scored during last year's 2-1 victory over Olentangy Liberty in the Division I State Championship Game, goals that enabled the Varsity Soccer Cats to bring home an OHSAA record sixth boys state championship.

That said, the talented and unassuming Duldner now has a special place in the Wildcats' record books as his seven goals in the dominant victory over the Hilltoppers on Thursday night surpassed the mark of six set by Saint Ignatius Hall of Famer Dave Maier in a first-round playoff game versus Garfield Heights in 2000. Maier still holds the Wildcats' single-season mark for goals scored with 45 in 2000.

"Johnny Duldner, he works hard," said Saint Ignatius' outstanding Head Coach Mike McLaughlin '85, who is now in his 21st season as the leader of one of the premier high school soccer programs in the nation. "He's one of the hardest working kids in the program. And it's great when good things happen to hard working, good kids who do the right things. That's a record that has been in existence for 15 years, so it's impressive. I am happy for Johnny."

Duldner, whose record performance helped the state' top-ranked and nation's third-ranked Wildcats extended their unbeaten streak to 22 matches, had only four goals last season. Those four goals were crucial, however, as they all came during the postseason run to a sixth state title. Johnny's two memorable goals in the state championship match were the most he had scored in a single game until Thursday's record night under a  thumbnail moon that hovered over the campus of Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School.

As is his nature, John Duldner spoke in terms of "team" when asked to talk about the night he rolled a seven on the pitch at Wasmer Field.

"I could not have gotten any of the goals without the team," Duldner said. "Even when I scored an individual goal, dribbled through and scored, the team helped me with that. My dribbling skills were working well tonight, I was really feeling it. And my passing skills enabled me to pass the ball to other people. They got it back to me and we played as a team. Many times, I didn't expect them to play it back to me, because I passed it for them to score. But they cut it back and gave it to me, because they knew I was close to the record. They helped me out all night."

Saint Ignatius, whose unbeaten streak dates back to last season, took a 1-0 lead when junior midfielder Adam Collins scored off an assist from gifted junior forward Steve Milhoan with less than 30 seconds gone in the first half.

Collins then assisted on Duldner's first goal of the night and the impressive offensive run was on.

Another Collins goal, this time off an assist from junior forward Alex Gotsky, made it a 3-0 game and Milhoan found Duldner for the second of John's three first half goals. That made it 4-0 with 19:05 left in the first half.

After Gotsky dished out another assist, this time to Duldner, it was 5-0 and Chardon, which slipped to 5-3 on the season, cut the deficit to 5-1 before the break.

It was Katy Bar the Door in the second half, as Collins' third goal, this time off an assist from sophomore Matthew Trickett, started the 9-0 barrage that featured four more goals from Duldner.

Duldner's fourth goal came off a header, Milhoan's authoritative shot made it 8-1 and goals by senior midfielder/co-captain Hayden Parente, Collins (number four ) and junior midfielder Johne Vrablic set the stage for Duldner's closing act.

Ending his record evening with three consecutive goals, Duldner, the epitome of a team player, drew a roar from his teammates when number seven greeted the nets that sit at the scoreboard end of Wasmer Field.

Up next for the Varsity Soccer Cats is Saturday's 7 PM matchup with the state's 10th-ranked Copley Indians at Copley. Saint Ignatius' Junior Varsity A and B teams will play Copley's Junior Varsity programs at 5 PM.

Coach Jim Brennan's Junior Varsity A improved to 7-0 by defeating Chardon's Jayvees, 10-0, on Wasmer Field Thursday evening.

Freshmen midfielder David Vrablic, Johne's brother, got the scoring started for the JV A and finished with four goals, all four coming in the first half. Sophomore forward Michael John Raddell, junior midfielder John Popa, sophomore midfielder Connor Rowitz and freshman defensive mainstay Nathan Speelman also helped show the way to an 8-0 first half.

The second half goals were produced by freshman forward Henry Curtis off a nice touch and a penalty kick by sophomore midfielder Kevin Shearer.

Sharing in the Junior Varsity A shutout were sophomore goalkeepers Ryan Mark and Andrew Clark, and the man for all positions, junior co-captain Richie Holzheimer. After playing all over the field in his career, Richie made his first appearance in the nets during the second half.                




A look at the Varsity Soccer Cats weekend at the Olentangy Liberty Classic, courtesy of Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Coach Joe Popelka '84
FROM COACH POPELKA: The weekend featured the three teams that have captured the last five Ohio Division I state championships (Saint Ignatius 2010, 2011, 2014, Olentangy Liberty 2012 and Mason 2013), plus traditional national power Gonzaga College Prep from Washington D.C. Saint Ignatius started the weekend as the #1 team in the state, Mason was #4 and Olentangy Liberty was #10.
Friday night: Mason beat Liberty 2-0
Saturday Saint Ignatius tied Mason 1-1
Liberty beat Gonzaga 1-0
Sunday: St. Ignatius beat Gonzaga 3-0
Saint Ignatius Game Recaps:
Saturday Game versus Mason: The Cats were tied, 1-1, for the first time this season, leaving them at 6-0-1 after a spirited match with Mason on a windy Columbus afternoon at Liberty Patriot Stadium.
The Cats opened the scoring on a rebound goal by Stephen Milhoan after the Mason goalkeeper was not able to handle a powerful strike from Lawrence Karpeh. The goal occurred with 5:47 left in the first half. At half, the Cats led 1-0, outshooting Mason 7-3. Senior midfielders Hayden Parente and John Duldner controlled the midfield and did not allow the Mason offense to record a dangerous look at the goal.
The Cats continued to have chances in the second half, but the game changed when the referee awarded Mason a penalty kick with 22:10 left in the game.  After converting the penalty kick, Mason had a couple of good looks at the goal, but keeper Lodge Dils was up to the challenge.
For the game Saint Ignatius outshot Mason 15-9.  Interestingly, the Cats were called for 21 fouls for the match and Mason was called for 5 second-half fouls. Both teams had 2 corner kicks for the game. Lodge Dils went the distance in goal and recorded a season-high 5 saves for the game.
Sunday Morning game 10:00am versus Gonzaga-- The Cats rebounded on a cool Sunday morning once-again at Liberty Stadium with a 3-0 victory versus the visiting team from the nation's capitol, pushing their record at the halfway point of the regular season to 7-0-1.
Gonzaga started the game quickly with two chances on goal, but Lodge Dils made excellent saves to keep them off the board.  After the wake-up call, the Cats began to settle into the game as senior captain Hayden Parente began to dictate a high tempo possession game. Near the end of the half a long ball was played deep to the far post to Stephen Milhoan who headed it back to center of the box, where John Duldner buried the goal to put the Cats up 1-0 at half.
The second half scoring was driven by the two birthday boys, Alex Gotsky (who was starting for the injured Lawrence Karpeh) and Riley Houde. The second goal was a picture-perfect give-and-goal between Gotsky and Milhoan, who scored his team-leading 8th goal of the season. The third goal saw Gotsky record his second assist to fellow junior Houde.
Once again Dils went the whole way for another shutout.
The Cats will start the second half of the regular season against Chardon Thursday night at 8:00pm on Wasmer Field.  They finish their week with a much anticipated match down at Copley at 7:00 on Saturday night.
*A couple of recent historical notes:  1--In light of the Football Team's 1000 game this past weekend, the Wildcat Futbol Team played their 750th game versus Solon last week. 
2--Coach McLaughlin '85 recorded his 250th regular season victory when the Cats beat Kenston.


As the Soccer Cats take a break over the Labor Day Weekend, here is a wrap up on how all of the teams fared on Thursday night courtesy of Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Coach Joe Popelka '84
From Coach Popelka and Posted By Eddie Dwyer
The JV-B Team played at Valley Forge yesterday. They won a weather shortened game 1-0.
This raises their record to 3-0 -- all shutouts.
The JV-A Team played out at Solon and raised their record to 5-0 with another weather shortened game.
The Cats won 2-0 on goals by Joe Kalic and Thomas Hogan. Ryan Mark earned the shutout in goal.
The Varsity Team improved to 5-0 with a win over the area's second ranked Solon Comets. Solon came into the contest undefeated and had not been scored on. The game started late after a lengthy weather delay.
Max Heath was in the nets for his first varsity start and recorded the shutout.  Max faced 6 shots and made 2 saves in the victory.
Max was assisted in the shutout by the solid defense of the back line of Hunter Gordon, Matt Trickett, Adam Haas, and Tommy Patacca.
The goal was provided by John Vrablic, his third of the season, from an assist by Hayden Parente.
The Cats outshot the Comets 16-6.
The Cats are off this weekend and will play away next Wednesday at 7:00 versus the Bombers of Kenston.


John Vrablic's first-half goal is the difference as Saint Ignatius Varsity Soccer turns back a talented Solon Comets team, 1-0, on the Comets' Stewart Field Thursday night

By Eddie Dwyer

The game matched the top two soccer programs in Cleveland this season and two of the premier defensive teams in the state.

Solon entered Thursday night's matchup without having yielded a goal through four games. The Comets are now 3-1-1.

Saint Ignatius, which has yielded two goals this young season, is 5-0, ranked No. 1 in Ohio and No. 4 in the nation by USA Today. The Solon Comets are Ohio's fifth-ranked team.

Up next for Coach Mike McLaughlin's defending and record six-time state champion Cats is a Sept. 9 matchup with the Kenston Bombers on the pitch at Kenston.  


Saint Ignatius Varsity Soccer rides a picture-perfect header by senior defender/co-captain Hunter Gordon off a smooth move and assist by senior forward/co-captain Lawrence Karpeh to a 1-0 Jesuit Cup Championship victory over St. John's Jesuit on Sunday

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August/September 2015

From Wasmer Field on the campus of Saint Ignatius High School - Hunter Gordon's goal and Lawrence Karpeh's assist, which came with less than 10 minutes gone in the second half, along with another strong effort by the Wildcats' defense, enabled Coach Mike McLaughlin's nationally ranked program to improve to 4-0 and take possession of what is Saint Ignatius' seventh Ohio Jesuit Cup Varsity Soccer Championship.

On Sunday morning, Coach Jim Brennan guided his Junior Varsity A Cats to a 2-0 victory over Cincinnati St. Xavier, a triumph that brought Coach Brennan his ninth JV Ohio Jesuit Cup Championship. The JV A Cats are now 4-0 on the young season with four shutouts.

Toledo St. John's Jesuit, which advanced to the Varsity title matchup with Saint Ignatius by defeating Cincinnati St. Xavier, 2-0, on Saturday, now stands 2-1-1.

ANSWERING THE CHALLENGE: After a scoreless first half that saw both teams execute their defense, Saint Ignatius' players were told by Assistant Coach and former Wildcats standout Mark Blades that they were "a little too predictable" on offense in the first half.

Just seconds after Coach McLaughlin went over the offensive approach the Cats were going to take in the final 40 minutes, a player from St. John's Jesuit, not 10 yards away from where Saint Ignatius was huddling at halftime, looked over at the Wildcats, made a reference to Saint Ignatius' fourth-place national ranking and said to his Titan teammates, "They're beatable!"

And what was Coach McLaughlin's response just before Saint Ignatius took the Wasmer Field pitch for the second half?

"Let's show them how good we are boys."

The Wildcats put enormous pressure on the Titans right from the get-go in the second half before Karpeh, in a soccer savvy display of footwork and quickness, went around two defenders and found Gordon for the difference maker.

A CASE FOR THE DEFENSE: Saint Ignatius junior goalie Lodge Dils had exceptional saves in both halves and the defensive play of the first 40 minutes came from Wildcats junior defender Tommy Patacca, who took away a shot off the line that appeared to be headed for the back of the Lorain Avenue net. It was a big-time heads up play by Patacca.

In the second half, the Cats protected their 1-0 lead behind some outstanding defense by senior midfielder/co-captain Hayden Parente and the new kid on the block - sophomore Matthew Trickett. Trickett played Freshmen football last year and this year he is doing triple duty as the JV Football punter/kicker, a backup place kicker/punter for the Varsity Football Team and a high soccer IQ defender for Coach McLaughlin.Trickett played in Saturday afternoon's 4-1 first-round victory over Walsh Jesuit in the Jesuit Cup, had two extra points and a couple of booming kickoffs for the Varsity Football team on Saturday night and was back on Wasmer Field Sunday afternoon raring to go.

YELLOW, THEN RED: With 14:38 remaining to be played, the Wildcats were hit with a questionable Red Card that saw the official pull out a Yellow Card then change his call. A Yellow Card, maybe. Red, I don't think so. But the Cats will have to live with it.

BY THE NUMBERS: Saint Ignatius outshot St. John's Jesuit, 17-6. Each team had five corner kicks. Titans goalie Stephen Wainz turned in a valiant effort with seven saves.

CONSOLATION: St. Xavier and Walsh Jesuit played to a 2-2 tie in Sunday's Varsity Consolation Match.

RANKINGS: Saint Ignatius, which entered Sunday's Varsity Championship Game as the fourth-ranked team in the nation, will be No. 1 in this coming week's OSSCA State Poll. St. John's Jesuit will also be among Ohio's top five teams.

UP NEXT: The Wildcats' Varsity and Junior Varsity A teams will travel to Solon on Thursday night, with the Junior Varsity matchup on the pitch at Stewart Field scheduled for 5:30 and the Varsity at 7:30.

AS LAWRENCE KARPEH SAW IT: "We knew coming into this game that it was going to be difficult. Our first couple of games weren't the greatest challenge. But this game is what we needed to see, somebody who could stay up with us a little bit. We had to stay positive at halftime, no negative vibe. We had to encourage each other and push the teammates next to us to do everything we needed. A win is a win. We were challenged, and we did what we needed to do."

FROM HUNTER GORDON: "I was creeping forward as an onside back and to see Lawrence with the ball, I know he's going to make a play on it," Hunter said of the title matchup's only goal. "When he turned there (past two defenders) and lifted his head, I called for it. I just made a move diagonally and it was a perfect ball from him. I got my head on it and it went in the back of the net (in the scoreboard end zone of Wasmer Field). Their (St. John's) game plan was to look up and kick it deep. They didn't really string a lot of passes together. So for us, it was about winning everything and not letting anything get behind us. The way we did that, the way we came out on top, was winning every 50-50 battle."

AND FROM COACH MIKE MCLAUGHLIN, WHO HAS GUIDED HIS CATS TO A RECORD SIX BOYS STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: "It's really hard to play two days in a row like this," said Coach McLaughlin, whose team advanced to Sunday's Championship match by defeating Walsh Jesuit, 4-1, on Saturday. "Especially at the speed and the pace that we play. It's difficult to play back to back without a day or two off, so I was really proud of how hard we worked.

"The key from here on out is whether we'll have the energy to do the work," Coach McLaughlin continued. "But this season reveals things about your team, that's the beauty of it. The beauty of playing these games is that you get yourself in situations where you have to solve problems. Our first couple of games have been a little easier, we scored goals and things went our way. I'm so pleased that we had challenges today that we had to deal with. It's going to get harder and harder as we go. Of the teams in the top ten (in the USA Today National Poll) we have the toughest schedule in the country. We play six nationally ranked teams."          

A Look at the Wildcats' Victories in Today's First Round of the Ohio Jesuit Cup

Courtesy of Wildcats' outstanding Assistant Soccer Coach Joe Popelka and Posted by Eddie Dwyer

Jesuit Cup--Day One

Saint Ignatius Junior Varsity A 1, Wash Jesuit Junior Varsity 0.

JV game: The Cats prevailed on a Thomas Hogan free kick with less than 2 minutes left in the game.

Ryan Mark went the distance in goal and recorded the shutout.


The 2015 Ohio Jesuit Cup Preview, hosted by Saint Ignatius High School

By Brendan DeVenney ‘17

There is nothing like sharing a common tradition that is rooted in your school with other schools a like. And what better tradition to share than Jesuit tradition.

This year the Ohio Jesuit Soccer Cup will venture to Ohio City with all four Ohio high schools that are run and affiliated with the Society of Jesus competing against one another. This year is the twelfth edition of the tournament, and this year will be the third time Saint Ignatius will have hosted it. The tournament began back in 2004 when it was hosted by Saint Xavier High School. It was created to initially have all four Jesuit high schools kick off their season together, but it also was designed to have all four schools come together to celebrate the rich tradition that they all share, and that is their Jesuit education and faith.

All together, this years Ohio Jesuit Cup brings ten OHSAA State Championships to the field, with Saint Ignatius having the most with six (2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2014). Walsh Jesuit has three (1982, 1990, and 2006) and Saint Xavier has one (1983).

We give you a preview of the talent that is to come this weekend to Saint Ignatius High School in the 12th annual Ohio Jesuit Cup.


We’ll start off with the program that hosted the tournament last year, and that is the Titans of Saint John’s Jesuit. Saint John’s Jesuit has won the tournament only once, and that came back in 2013 when it was hosted down in Cincinnati.

The Titans this year are head coached by Thomas Shook. Shook entered this season being the winningest coach in Saint John’s Jesuit history. In 2013, he was named the Three Rivers Athletic Conference, the league in which the Titans play in, Soccer Coach of the Year and the 2013 Northwest Ohio Private Coach of the Year. Entering the Ohio Jesuit Cup, he has a record of 255-98-13.

Coach Shook leads a very talented Titans squad this year, one that has ‘deep playoff run’ written all over it. The 2014 season saw the Jesuit Preparatory School in Toledo finish 12-6-0, and finish with a 6-1-0 record in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference. They had an exciting District Tournament that saw the Titans play their hardest all season. In the District Semifinal, they played to a shootout after two overtimes with Sylvania Northview at Sylvania Southview High School with the Titans coming out victorious. However, in the District Final with Perrysburg, Saint John’s Jesuit could not play hard enough losing to Yellow Jackets in another shootout after double overtime.

This year Saint John’s Jesuit is off to a 1-0-1 start to their season, starting it off this past Friday in the Friday Night Fủtbol showcase versus Springfield on Lyden Field. It was an 8-0 blowout for the Titans. To give you a look at who should stand out this upcoming weekend, junior forward Zachary Buescher and sophomore forward Derek Huddleston each scored two goals for the Titans in the win over Springfield. Both of the young men up front move quickly with the ball and don’t let up when they’re closely defended. They give backfields a work out when trying to guard the box.

As far as the defending goes, goalkeeper Stephen Wainzl is a senior veteran and stands his ground, hardly ever letting any in. But Saint John’s Jesuit relies on their offense led by Buescher, Huddleston, junior midfielder Parker Myers, and junior forward Leo Gomez.

The schedule from the Ohio Jesuit Cup moving forward for the Titans is not easy whatsoever, facing Sylvania Southview and Sylvania Northview, Lima Senior, Perrysburg, Toledo Central Catholic, and a trip to Michigan to face Jesuit rival University of Detroit Jesuit.

We move on to the host school for next year, Walsh Jesuit in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The Warriors enter the Ohio Jesuit Cup with a record of 1-1-0, recently falling to Stow-Munroe Falls by a final score of 3-2 at Stow Soccer Stadium.

Walsh Jesuit this year is led by head coach Scott Zackaroff, who is a veteran at the helm for the Warriors. One of the more demanding coaches in the state, Zackaroff does not let up on the boys, and certainly expects only the best. The three-time State Champion Warriors have not reached expectations in the past, however.

The Warriors have come up short in the past, such as in 2013 falling to Hudson in the Kent District Semifinal by only a final of 1-0. The same thing happened in 2014 when #2 Walsh Jesuit and #1 Hudson, seeded respectively in the Kent District, met in the District Final with the Explorers coming out on top by, once again, a score of 1-0.

This year the Warriors look to change all of that with some young talent on the roster. Looking back to the game versus the Bulldogs, they were down quickly in the first half, but the Warriors quickly responded with a goal by co-captain and midfielder Grant Packo to tie the ballgame up. Then Walsh Jesuit went down a goal again, but they faced adversity and senior forward Logan Kaim put one in the net behind the Bulldogs goalkeeper. It wasn’t enough though as Stow-Munroe Falls got the game winner late in the second half.

Grant Packo and Logan Kaim are just a few of the Warriors who are on the rise to lead this ballclub to victory game in and game out. Goalkeeper and co-captain Cameron Keefe is expected to be a shutdown goalie all season long, and senior forward Michael Boldt, as well as senior midfielder Michael Tricaso, are scoring threats for the Warriors, as they have been already this fall.

With Walsh Jesuit High School being a co-ed school, the girls soccer team has had just as much success as the boys program. The Lady Warriors hold the record for most girls state championships with seven state titles, and three national titles.

Following the Ohio Jesuit Cup, Walsh Jesuit, a two-time winner of the Ohio Jesuit Cup, has some tough competition on the their schedule, including home games versus Massillon Jackson and University School, two tough soccer programs, and a trip to Western Reserve Academy to face the Pioneers, who are always a tough opponent.

We now look at a program that has had a lot of success throughout the years, and that is the team that will travel the most to get to Ohio City, the Bombers of Saint Xavier. The Jesuit Preparatory School in Cincinnati has hosted the Ohio Jesuit Cup three times.

The Bombers had a magical season last year advancing all the way to the Region 4 Regional Semifinal before falling to Lakota East. That being said, the 2015 squad has a lot of high expectations to continue their dominance. In 2014, the Bombers completed 16 shutouts in 20 games to finish 16-3-1, and 5-1-0 in the Greater Catholic League. However, they graduated fourteen members, and will only be returning five guys.

Head coach Brian Schaeper is in his third year at the helm of the Bombers soccer program, and he will expect his seniors to take charge of the squad this year. Senior co-captain Zach Thomas, a midfielder, and junior co-captain Jake Huber, also in the middle, are definite scoring threats for Saint Xavier.  

Heading into the Ohio Jesuit Cup, the Bombers are off to a good start at 2-0-0, beating Loveland and Sycamore. Schaeper will also be counting on senior midfielder Alex Vallecillo this season to provide the spark on offense they desperately need to contend in games. Along with Vallecillo is senior veteran forward Jack Rogers who could be one of the best scorers in the Cincinnati/Southern Ohio area.

Nothing gets tougher than the Bombers schedule, which includes Archbishop Moeller, Centerville, Dublin Coffman, and Fairfield. People might say that the Southern Ohio area high schools are dominant in football, and you can not argue with that, but they are also dominant on the soccer pitch as well, which makes it tough for the Bombers this season.

And finally we take a look at the six-time State Champion, and the host school for this year’s Ohio Jesuit Cup, the Wildcats of Saint Ignatius. Saint Ignatius is off to a dominant start already with a 2-0-0 record.

There is no doubt that in the two games that the Wildcats will play this weekend, with the first match being against Walsh Jesuit, they will be the clear cut favorite with no bias intended. Saint Ignatius entered the season being ranked fourth in the nation in the USA Today/NSCAA Super 25 Boys High School Soccer Power Rankings, and eleventh in the nation in the FAB50 National High School Boys Soccer Team Rankings. Currently, they are still fourth in the USA Today/NSCAA poll and fell back to sixth in the FAB50 poll, after moving up to fourth place after their 8-1 win over St. Edward. 

Coach McLaughlin’s Wildcats (Head Coach Michael McLaughlin enters the Ohio Jesuit Cup with a record of 333-46-43) have a lot of depth on the squad, and you can already see that through the first two games, where they have defeated arch rival St. Edward 8-1 and Padua Franciscan 10-0. It all starts with junior forward Stephen Milhoan, who could go down as one of the best forwards to ever go through the storied program, and senior forward and co-captain Lawrence Karpeh. That one-two punch really hurts the opposition’s backfield. They break down the defense, and so far have scored with ease. They are, however, not the only ones who can find the net. Senior co-captain and midfielder Hayden Parente has found the back of the net, as well as junior midfielder Riley Houde, junior midfielder Johne Vrablic, senior co-captain and midfielder John Duldner, and junior defender Tommy Patacca, who had his first two goals ever on the Varsity club Wednesday night versus Padua Franciscan.

The defense speaks for itself if you just look at the scores so far. Junior defender Adam Haas, sophomore defender Matt Trickett, and senior co-captain and defender Hunter Gordon have all been dominant in the backfield, and it all caps off with the dominance of junior goalkeeper Lodge Dils.

If it’s one thing that the Wildcats have on their minds this year, it’s another State Championship to add to the trophy case. Their schedule definitely prepares them for it as they head to Olentangy Liberty High School for a weekend in September to face Ohio power William Mason and Gonzaga College from Washington, D.C. Also on their schedule are Copley and Olentangy Liberty, both whom the Wildcats defeated to finish their season last year in the State Semifinal and State Final respectively. They also travel to New York for a weekend in October to face two nationally ranked programs in St. Anthony’s in South Huntington, New York and Martin Luther King, Jr. Educational Campus in Manhattan, New York.

The Wildcats have hosted the Ohio Jesuit Cup two times, and have won the tournament more than any other schools. They have won the Ohio Jesuit Cup six times.  

This year’s Ohio Jesuit Cup Varsity games will be broadcasted on the Saint Ignatius Broadcasting Network at It all kicks off on Saturday with Saint Ignatius facing Walsh Jesuit. The Junior Varsity of the Wildcats and Warriors kicks off at 9:00 a.m. and the Varsity match kicks off at 11:00 a.m. Then on Saturday, Saint John’s Jesuit faces off with Saint Xavier with Junior Varsity kicking off at 1:00 p.m. and the Varsity edition of the Titans and Bombers kicks off at 3:00 p.m. There will be a Celebration of the Eucharist for all four teams’ players and families in Saint Mary of the Assumption Chapel at 5:00 p.m. Sunday’s schedule will be determined after the results from Saturday.

Gifted junior forward Stephen Milhoan scores five goals as Saint Ignatius Varsity Soccer opens its 2015 season with a dominant and unselfish 8-1 victory over St. Edward in front of a crowd of more than 2,000 at Wasmer Field Friday night

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August 2015

Ohio City - Steve Milhoan, who now has 25 career goals, fired home the first goal of the night off a picture-perfect assist from multi-skilled senior forward Lawrence Karpeh just 14 seconds into the matchup of the longtime West Side rivals.

Steve's five goals against the Eagles are one short of the Wildcats' all-time, single-game mark of six by David Maier. Maier's six goals came in a first-round playoff game in 2000.

As Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Coach/Player Quality Control Coach Joe Popelka '84 pointed out, only one other Wildcats soccer player has scored five goals in a game and that came in 1983 by Rob Previts, who is the Athletic Director at St. Thomas More elementary school in Brooklyn. Previts was a soccer teammate of Coach Popelka and Saint Ignatius' celebrated Head Soccer Coach Mike McLaughlin '85.

Milhoan's five goals and one assist, on what was a picture-perfect late summer night in Ohio City, are also the second most number of points in a game by a Wildcat soccer player.

Saint Ignatius, the fourth-ranked team in USA Today's preseason National Poll, was greeted with an enthusiastic roar from its large and supportive student body as it entered Wasmer Field.

The defending and record six-time Division I state champion Cats, who led, 3-0, with the matchup not 10 minutes old, finished with 25 shots on goal, including 15 by Milhoan. St. Edward had five shots on goal.

Here is the offensive breakdown on Saint Ignatius, which played a near flawless first half.

The sequence of goals: Milhoan, Milhoan, Karpeh, Milhoan, senior midfielder Hayden Parente and Milhoan in the 6-0 first half, and Milhoan and junior midfielder Riley Houde in the second half.

Karpeh had three assists on the night and also dishing out assists were senior midfielder John Duldner, Houde and Milhoan. Milhoan's second goal was unassisted as was Hayden Parente's goal.

St. Edward's goal came off a penalty kick as the Cats' first-year Varsity goalies, juniors Lodge Dils and Max Heath, did a solid job on opening night.

Here are the postgame comments from Steve Milhoan and Coach McLaughlin.

COACH MCLAUGHLIN: "We talk about a lot of different things we want to do on the field and then you hope the players are ready to do it. With such a big crowd it was great that they had their composure and were ready from the get-go. I think we have some dangerous players on this team.

"It was nice to see how they shared the ball with each other," Coach McLaughlin continued. "That made the difference. In each of those first three or four goals, one guy could have taken it himself. But he looked up and found the guy that was even more open and sent him a simple pass and he was able to put it in. This was an unselfish night. We have dangerous players and when they play unselfish, good things can happen. You saw that tonight."

STEVE MILHOAN: "The last time we talked, I said it was all about that hard work we've been putting in, and it showed tonight. We were ambitious. We wanted to get that first goal early and it came 14 seconds into the game. It was nice.

"I think it starts because we're brothers, we play for the boys behind us," Steve continued in reference to the Wildcats' explosive, but unselfish attack. We're not a selfish team. We look to reward the guy next to us. That's how we play. It's all about that family. It would have been nice, like you said, to get that record. But if I can dish a couple off balls off to my teammates, that's even better." 


Providing the offense for the JV A Cats versus the Eagles were midfielder Joe Kalic and freshman forward Bryce Horton, who each had two-goal nights, and midfielder Richie Holzheimer and freshman midfielder Kory Nekoloff, who both found the back of the net off heads-up shots.

And a tip of the corner's cap also goes out to Saint Ignatius' Junior Varsity B/Freshmen Team, which started the evening with an impressive 9-0 victory over St. Edward. It was a memorable debut for new Coach Anthony Fior '02, a former player in Saint Ignatius' highly respected soccer program.



The 2015 Varsity Soccer Preview. Coach Mike McLaughlin's young team, in terms of Varsity experience, enters the season ranked among the nation's best

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August 2015

Ohio City - While preparing his team for what will be his 21st season as his alma mater's Head Soccer Coach, Mike McLaughlin '85 looked back on last year's record sixth Division I State Championship fall and the emotions and challenges that accompanied the Wildcats throughout their memorable journey.

"I think the world can pull you in a lot of different directions," said Coach McLaughlin, who will be directing what will be the 40th year of Saint Ignatius Soccer. "But what's amazing about being here at Saint Ignatius is that you keep getting pulled back to the things that matter most. And one of those things is our faith.

"Last year, sure we're playing soccer," Coach McLaughlin continued. "But we spent a lot of time last year talking about our faith, talking about believing in each other and believing in the plan. When you start the season, you want it to be perfect. But more often than not, it's not perfect. You're going to have ups and downs.

"The season wasn't perfect for us, on the field we struggled a bit as players were injured," Coach McLaughlin said. "But they (the 2014 state champs) kept believing that we could do this. Ultimatley, the fact that we were able to come together through the hard times on the field and also the hard times with Jim Skerl, everybody who was part of that will never forget the bond that was created."

Behind two goals by Johnny Duldner, a junior midfielder last season, and another staunch defensive effort that was keyed by an outstanding back line and the resiliency of All-American goalie and University of Pittsburg recruit Mikal Outcalt '15, Saint Ignatius turned back Olentangy Liberty, 2-1, in the state championship match on the pitch in Columbus' Crew Stadium. The record sixth OHSAA boys state soccer title came off what was the Cats' 13th consecutive victory.

Saint Ignatius' devoted Student Body didn't walk out of Crew Stadium that blue- gray November Saturday afternoon without one last moving cheer.

"Mr. Skerl, Mr. Skerl!" echoed through the stands as the Wildcats' faithful took time out to pay tribute to their late devoted teacher and mentor, Mr. Jim Skerl '74. Jim lost a courageous battle to cancer in late October of 2014.

A fixture at Saint Ignatius for nearly four decades, Mr. Skerl was a great fan of Coach McLaughlin's program, so much so that he would stand on a milk cart behind the fence that runs along the benches at Wasmer Field and root on his beloved Soccer Cats.

As every Saint Ignatius student, soccer player and coach realized when that final shot attempt by Olentangy Liberty was turned away, Jim was once again standing tall in their hearts and minds.

"We're going to remember that the rest of our lives," said Coach McLaughlin, before turning his attention to his oh so promising 2015 Wildcats Soccer program.

"It's young, we only have four seniors," Coach McLaughlin said of the makeup of the 2015 Varsity Soccer Cats. "We have 13 juniors and one sophomore. We kind of set it up last year when we had a huge roster of 25, so that so many of the young kids could be around last year's seniors, who were such exceptional kids, soccer players and leaders. We wanted them (the young players) to soak that in.
"I'm grateful that it worked out and I think these younger players have seen guys do it the right way. I'm excited to see them make their mark on the big stage."
Although Saint Ignatius graduated two outstanding goalies and four-year fixtures in Outcalt and George Mason University recruit Clark Gronek, Coach McLaughlin is confident that youth will be served in front of the net. Junior Lodge Dils (6-foot-3) is the starter this fall and he will be backed up by another more than capable junior, 6-5 Max Heath.
"I think we're going to have a lot of offensive opportunities created," said Coach McLaughlin. "We have a lot of speed and skill up front. We graduated a core part of our defense. That's the rebuild, our back line. But the core of our offense is still there, so I think we're going to be really dangerous this year going forward and attacking. It should mean lots of goals."
And providing that offensive firepower for the second consecutive season will be the gifted Stephen Milhoan, who enters his junior season with 20 goals, 11 assists and 51 points, including six game-winning goals. Milhoan is one of the premier players not only in Ohio, but also the nation.
Another gifted player to watch at the offensive end is senior Lawrence Karpeh, who brings 11 goals, six assists and 28 points to the table, including four game-winning goals.
Karpeh will join Duldner and four-year varsity mainstays Hayden Parente and Hunter Gordon as Coach McLaughlin's four captains. Again, they are the only seniors on this year's team.
"We haven't had many four-year varsity players in the program, so Hayden and Hunter have been around and have kind of seen it all," Coach McLaughlin said. "That's why they're going to be among the generals on the field. That's such a great thing. They have the respect of their teammates as great leaders on and off the field.
"You go as far as your senior leaders take you,"  Coach McLaughlin continued. "And with those two (Parente and Gordon) and Lawrence and Johnny, it's absolute quality."
And where that quality will have to come to the fore, especially early in the season, is on defense.
"You win with defense," said the man who has a career coaching record of 331-46-43, including 244-32-43 in the regular season and 87-14 in the OHSAA playoffs. "Our regular season schedule might be the hardest schedule that we've ever played. We won last year because of the schedule we played. By the time we got to the playoffs, there was nothing more we could see from the state. So we were ready, battle tested. Now we have to go play the games and see how our defense sorts out.
"It's a young group of defenders, but they're good. I can't wait for them to show people what they're all about."
And the Wildcats' faithful won't have to wait long, as Saint Ignatius opens its 2015 soccer season versus longtime rival St. Edward on Friday night, August 21, at atmosphere-rich Wasmer Field. The Saint Ignatius Marching Band will be performing in what should be a night to cherish.
For a complete look at the Soccer Cats' demanding 2015 schedule, go to, click on athletics and click on soccer. Among the 16 teams on the Cats' regular-season slate are six nationally ranked programs. Saint Ignatius enters the season as the fourth-ranked team in the nation by USA Today. 
*In an interesting note to the upcoming season, the Soccer Cats' fifth match this year will mark the 750th in the program's history. From 1976 through 2014, the program is 531-128-86.
*Along with the record six state championships (2004, '05, '08, '10, '11 and '14), Coach McLaughlin also has on his resume 10 final four appearances, a state runner-up in 2009 and national titles in 2005 and 2010.
*Coach McLaughlin's outstanding coaching staff: Dan Crew and Mark Blades, Varsity Assistants; Jim Brennan and Darren Keefe, Junior Varsity A; Anthony Fior, Junior Varsity B; Joe Popelka, Player Quality Control.
*Coach Popelka and Coach McLaughlin are celebrating 25 years together in the sport of soccer.
Hayden Parente: "We had to come together as a family," said Hayden of the emotional time he and his teammates faced during last season's playoffs and Mr. Jim Skerl's courageous battle with cancer. "We dedicated the season to Mr. Skerl and Saint Ignatius. We went out and did what he told us to do - win a state championship.
"Brotherhood, for sure," continued Hayden when asked what he looked upon as the strength of the 2015 Soccer Cats. Hayden added that he and his teammates are excited about the demanding schedule and that he is definitely pleased with where the young defense is at this early point of the season.
Hunter Gordon: "That was one of the toughest times of my life and for the other guys who were extremely close to Mr. Skerl," said Hunter of the challenges of late last fall. "The way we got through it was coming together on the soccer field. We put our cleats on and forgot about everything but playing for Mr. Skerl. Everything was for him at that point.
"I think one of our major strengths this year, not just ability wise, is that when we step on the field we don't think about being a very young team. We're all soccer players, we're all here to do the same thing. The junior class is very solid and with them as a core, if they step it up this year we're going to great, if not amazing. There are going to be about five or six guys starting for the first time, but we all have great relationships, there are no egos.
"Our defense is all about hard work," continued Hunter, who said he has been putting an emphasis on his fitness. "I think that is what is going to separate us this year - just how hard we work. I am the only returnee in the back four, but of the other guys we have coming in there, three or four are just exceptional players."
Stephen Milhoan: "I would say our strengths are our midfield, and we have a pretty good back line," said Steve, who is the youngest player (16 years old) on the United States Men's National Futsal Team. Futsal is similar to indoor soccer, only with a smaller ball.
"There are a lot players who stepped it up from last year, which is great. Our back line is going to be just as strong, if not stronger, as last year. From the first day of practice, everyone's been talking about hard work. This team really gets along, which is great going into a season where we will have the targets on our backs.
"You always want to improve and I would say the biggest thing for me was fitness, being able to match play and run the whole game. That and staying clean with my touches and working on free kicks.
"It's great," Steve continued in reference to Saint Ignatius' talent-laden schedule. "Like they say, you have to beat the best in order to be the best. We'll take the schedule. It's going to be fun.
"Mr. Skerl's words were and are an inspiration to us. He gave us something more to fight for."
Note: The corner would like to express its thanks to Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Coach and teacher Joe Popelka '84 for all of the informative statistical information.
Joseph Popelka '84
Teacher--Biological Sciences
Soccer Coach, Student Senate Moderator


Wildcats Soccer ranked fourth in the nation in USA Today's preseason Top 25 poll

By Eddie Dwyer

Copley ranked 22nd.

1.     AIR ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL Usaf Academy, CO 20-0-0

2.     ST. BENEDICT'S PREP Newark, NJ 19-1-0


4.     ST. IGNATIUS HIGH SCHOOL Cleveland, OH 20-2-1

5.     OLATHE EAST HIGH SCHOOL Olathe, KS 20-1-0

6.     MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY HS Milwaukee, WI 23-1-2

7.     COMMACK HIGH SCHOOL Commack, NY 21-1-1


9.     PETERS TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL Mcmurray, PA 22-2-0

10.  ST. CHRISTOPHER'S HIGH SCHOOL Richmond, VA 23-1-1

11.  WHEATON ACADEMY West Chicago, IL  24-1-1

12.  CANTON HIGH SCHOOL Canton, MI 23-0-3


14.  NEEDHAM HSMS Needham Heights, MA 19-0-0

15.  OAK RIDGE HIGH SCHOOL El Dorado Hills, CA 15-4-1

16.  RIVER HILL HIGH SCHOOL Clarksville, MD 18-0-1

17.  FAIRPORT HIGH SCHOOL Fairport, NY 18-4-0


19.  ST. THOMAS AQUINAS HIGH SCHOOL Overland Park, KS 19-2-0

20.  JESUIT HIGH SCHOOL Carmichael, CA 24-2-1

21.  EAST RIDGE HIGH SCHOOL Woodbury, MN 21-1-0

22.  COPLEY HIGH SCHOOL Copley, OH 20-1-1

23.  ST. ANTHONY'S HS Melville, NY 12-3-1

24.  GLASTONBURY HIGH SCHOOL Glastonbury, CT 15-5-2

25.  LEE'S SUMMIT SENIOR HS Lees Summit, MO 19-3-0

 Also receiving votes: Central Catholic (Portland, Ore.), Delbarton School (Morristown, N.J.), Brookfield East (Brookfield, Wis.), Salesianum School (Wilmington, Del.), Guerin Catholic (Noblesville, Ind.), Aviation (Long Island City, N.Y.), Avon (Avon, Conn.), Hinsdale Central (Hinsdale, Ill.), Morgantown (Morgantown, W.Va.), Unity Christian School (Hudsonville, Mich.), Hood River Valley (Hood River, Ore.), Holy Ghost Prep (Bensalem, Pa.), Shenendehowa (Clifton Park, N.Y.), Goshen (Goshen, Ind.), South Burlington (South Burlington, Vt.), Chaminade College Prep (St. Louis, Mo.), Walt Whitman (Bethesda, Md.), Bowling Green (Bowling Green, Ky.), Scotch Plains Fanwood (Scotch Plains, N.J.), Marin Academy (San Rafael, Calif.) .



High School Team Summer Information
  • Captain’s Practices – Once again Captain’s Practices will take place every Monday and Wednesday from 5:30-7:30.  We will begin on Monday, June 8, and conclude on Wednesday, July 29.  The first 30 minutes of the practice will consist of conditioning work and the last 90 minutes will be spent playing.  These practices are for all incoming Freshmen thru Seniors, along with St. Ignatius soccer alumni.  Captain Practices are not mandatory -- they are an extra opportunity for the players to continue working together to get ready for the fall season.

  • Tryout Information -- Tryouts will begin on Monday, August 3, 2015.  Tryouts for all Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors will begin at 8:00 am.  Players should arrive at 7:30 am. Freshmen tryouts will begin at 11:00 am.  Freshmen should arrive at 10:30 and be prepared to practice until 1:00 pm.  Tryouts will take place on Wasmer Field and will last the entire week.  All players are to bring indoor soccer shoes, outdoor soccer shoes, and running shoes.  No one is permitted to attend tryouts without having turned in their medical forms to the Athletic Office.

  • Dutch Camp – Once again this summer we will have our Dutch Team Camp for all incoming Freshmen thru Seniors.  The camp is led by coaches from Holland who are members of the Dutch KNVB, their national coaches association. It will be July 13-16 from 9:00-11:30.  The brochure and payment information is attached.  Please send in your registration by June 15, 2015.  This is not a mandatory camp -- again an extra opportunity for the players and coaches to begin preparing for the fall season. 

Please contact Coach McLaughlin if you have any questions - or (216) 272-4306.

Youth Summer Camp Information Now Available!

CLICK HERE for more information on summer camps! Register at

Mini Cats - June 1-4, 2 - 4 p.m. (Ages 3 - 6 boys & girls)
Location & Cost: Saint Ignatius High School, $130

June 8 - 12, 9 a.m. - Noon, Westlake (Grades K-8)
Location & Cost: St. Bernadette School, $150

June 15 - 19, 9 a.m. - Noon, Solon (Grades K-8)
Location & Cost: Dorothy Lewis School, $150

June 22 - 26, 9 a.m. - Noon, Macedonia (Grades K-8)
Location & Cost: St. Barnabas School, $150

June 29 - July 3, 9 a.m. - Noon, Broadview Heights (Grades K-8)
Location & Cost: Assumption Academy, $150

July 6-10, 9 a.m. - Noon (Grades K-4 boys & girls)
Location & Cost: Saint Ignatius High School

July 6-10, 1 - 4 p.m. (Grades 5-6 boys & girls)
Location & Cost: Saint Ignatius High School

July 13-17, 1 - 4 p.m. (Grades 7-8 boys & girls)
Location & Cost: Saint Ignatius High School

GK Mikal Outcalt garners First Team Division 1 All-Ohio Honors from the OSSCA
Wildcats' defense pulls through, Duldner has himself a day, Soccer 'Cats are State Champions

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit November 2014

COLUMBUS, OHIO: As a partly sunny, blue-gray sky was taking on a bit of a winter look over Crew Stadium, Coach Mike McLaughlin '85 stood near the main gate end zone and talked about a soccer season that will go down as one of the greatest and most memorable in his outstanding career at Saint Ignatius.

"This was a dream season," said Coach McLaughlin, who completed his 20th fall as his alma mater's head soccer coach by guiding his Wildcats to a 2-1 victory over a gutsy Olentangy Liberty team in Saturday afternoon's OHSAA Division I State Soccer Championship match.

Saint Ignatius, which closed it fall to recall at 20-2-1, not only brought home another gold trophy, but an Ohio High School Athletic Association state record sixth boys Division I soccer championship. Number five also came against the Patriots of Olentangy Liberty, 4-2, in 2011.

"It was an amazing group of young men and a great group of coaches to be with every day," said Coach McLaughlin, who closed out season 20 with his record sixth state title, 331st career victory and his 87th triumph in 101 OHSAA postseason matches. "We spent a lot of time talking about Xs and Os this season, but we spent even more time talking about fighting, working hard and becoming brothers on the field and how that's what you're going to remember more than anything. A lot of people can play soccer, but what these boys developed throughout the season was a bond and a brotherhood that will be with them for the rest of their lives.

"I think when the game is on the line, those intangibles really take over, the love that they have for each other and how hard they work for each other," Coach McLaughlin continued. "When you get a spirit like that, then you have the opportunity to do special things."

The Wildcats, who ran off 13 consecutive victories in securing title six, did plenty of special things in the first 40 minutes en route to riding two goals by junior midfielder John Duldner and a staunch defensive effort to a 2-0 lead at halftime. Duldner, who did not score a goal on the varsity level during the regular season, finished with four key goals during the postseason run.

Duldner was "Johnny on the Spot" early Saturday afternoon as he struck for his first goal with 8 minutes and 22 seconds remaining in the first 40 minutes and with just over two minutes to go in the first half he made it 2-0.

"The first one, it was crazy, I honestly didn't know the ball was going to come out," said Duldner. "Just like the St. Eds game (a 3-0 victory in the district finals), I was in the right place at the right time and I hit it. The second goal, I saw it coming across the goal and I knew it wasn't going to go in. The goalie tapped it out, I waited for it to bounce and again, just hit it."

Along with Duldner's hit parade, the first half featured some excellent goaltending by Wildcats senior All-American Mikal Outcalt and the Patriots' Sam Nelson.

Nelson prevented Saint Ignatius from taking even a larger lead in the first half by flying from side to side of his net and making diving saves of the one-handed and two-handed variety.

Outcalt, a University of Pittsburgh recruit and a four-year varsity player, used his athletic six-foot-four frame to make consecutive big-time saves, including a 1-on-1 challenge in the first half that saw Mikal extend his body, dive and make the rejection in a highlight-reel motion. Mikal's effort came with the match still scoreless.

Shortly after Mikal's crowd-pleaser, which had the Wildcats' outstanding student body support roaring, Duldner scored the first of his two goals.

"Going up 2-0 is always a tough lead, because you do get a little confident in the locker room at halftime," Outcalt said. "We just said, hey, we have to play forty more minutes to become champions. We knew they (the Patriots) were going to come out (in the second half) hammering shots. But our defense is solid all around and I think we have one of the best back lines in the state."

Olentangy Liberty (19-2-2), which also lost a regular season match up with Saint Ignatius on the Patriots' pitch, did come out with more aggression in the second half and closed to 2-1 with less than eight minutes gone in the final 40 minutes.

With both teams in an attack mode and both goalies continuing to rise to the occasion, the final 30 minutes were physical to say the least.

As the Wildcats and the Patriots fought for their right to the 50-50 balls, the championship match came to an end with Saint Ignatius turning away a flurry of shot attempts in front of its goal as the seconds ticked down.

"We just kept going at it and going at it," said Wildcats senior captain David Sisson, who was an integral part of Coach McLaughlin's outstanding defensive back line. "Every shot (down the stretch), they had four or five guys running at the ball trying to throw something in front of it." David also pointed out that the Cats had to deal with the Patriots' use of space in a counter attack. The large professional pitch in Crew Stadium was a factor for both teams.

"Me and Jack Wiegandt are very strong players and we just get up and get down the field, Hunter Gordon takes care of business on the wings, and he hits people when he needs to and stays back when he needs to, and Dean Miller does what needs to be done,"  Sisson said while describing the now storied Saint Ignatius back line of 2014. "We hit hard when we need to and we're smart when we need to be.

"I've been dreaming about this since I was freshman, Sisson continued.  "Me and (senior captain) Bobby Barsic walked out of here after the 2011 state championship game and said we're going to win this when we're seniors. And we did!"

And Saint Ignatius' Student Body didn't walk out of Crew Stadium Saturday afternoon without one last moving cheer.

"Mr. Skerl, Mr. Skerl!" echoed through the stands as the Wildcats' faithful took time out to pay tribute to their late devoted teacher and mentor, Mr. Jim Skerl '74. Jim lost a courageous battle to cancer late last month.

A fixture at Saint Ignatius for nearly four decades, Mr. Skerl was a great fan of Coach McLaughlin's program, so much so that he would stand on a milk cart behind the fence that runs along the benches at Wasmer Field and root on his beloved Soccer Cats.

As every Saint Ignatius student, soccer player and coach realized when that final shot attempt was turned away, Jim was once again standing tall in their hearts and minds.  















Coach McLaughlin's Wildcats reach State Final with a 1-0 win over top-ranked Copley

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit November 2014

Nordonia High School: Behind their outstanding defensive back line of Hunter Gordon, Jack Wiegandt, David Sisson and Dean Miller, some strong work in the middle by John Duldner and Hayden Parente, another unflappable effort by All American goalie Mikal Outcalt and a heads up goal by forward JoeMack Leonardo, Coach Mike McLaughlin's Wildcats improved to 19/2/1 and advanced to Saturday's Division I State Championship match at noon in Columbus's Crew Stadium.

The Soccer Cats, who avenged a regular season setback to Copley and handed the Indians their first loss in 22 matches this season, will face Powell Olentangy Liberty (19/1/2) in Saturday's championship showdown. In capturing its fifth Division I state championship, Saint Ignatius defeated Olentangy Liberty, 4/2, in the 2011 title matchup in Crew Stadium. The Wildcats also defeated the Liberty Patriots, 3/1, during the regular season this fall. That match was played at Olentangy Liberty.  

Coach McLaughlin's Cats, who are attempting to become the first Division I boys soccer team in Ohio to bring home a sixth state championship, have now won 12 consecutive matches. Copley saw its 12 match winning streak come to an end.

Copley and Saint Ignatius entered Wednesday night's matchup on Nordonia High School's Boliantz Field ranked first and second, respectively, in the final Division I state poll by the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association. Copley was also ranked among the top three to five programs nationally all season.

Olentangy Liberty finished in a tie for sixth place with Mason in the final OSSCA poll.

Coach McLaughlin, currently in his 20th season as the head of his alma mater's tradition rich soccer program, will enter Saturday's state championship match with 330 career victories, including a remarkable eighty six victories in 100 OHSAA postseason matches.


"We've been working since day one in tryouts," said a jubilant Hunter Gordon, who as a junior is part of one of the top back lines Ohio has to offer. "We knew it was going to be a fight, all year long. Coming in here tonight, we knew we had to shut them out to win. We knew our offense would make something happen. That's what we needed to do, and we got it done.

"We take so much pride into that (the work of the back line)," Gordon continued. "We get mad when we let goals in. We let up only 11 all season (through Wednesday night), which is probably one of the best marks in the state."

Gordon's main assignment on Wednesday night was Copley's gifted junior forward Chris Brennan, a challenge he relished.

"I've known Chris since I was about 11 or 12," Gordon said. "We've played with each other and against each other. It's a good relationship."

Gordon emphasized that he is where he wanted to be ever since he was a freshman at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School, preparing for a state championship match.

"The last two years, we were heartbroken," said Gordon, referring to overtime shootout losses to St. Edward in the district finals. "We didn't want it to happen again, and it didn't happen. We made it through."

En route to its 10th appearance in the state final four, Saint Ignatius defeated St. Edward, 3/0, in the District Championship Game on Krenzler Field at Cleveland State University.

"They (Copley) hadn't had a goal scored on them first in any of their matches this season," Gordon said of the 2014 Indians' first experience of playing behind. "We put pressure on them, high pressure. When we got the first goal, we knew they would be on their heels, that they would be down. They're not used to that."

THE JOEMACK ATTACK: "It was just a throw in and the ball was bouncing around," said Wildcats talented, tough and personable senior forward JoeMack Leonardo, whose goal with 4 minutes and 34 seconds remaining in the first half will be remembered as the one that opened the door for a shot at a record sixth state championship.

"Like any other moment, the ball came to me and, by the Grace of God, I was able to finish it," JoeMack continued. "The ball bounced in the air off a defender and I just volleyed it with my left foot.

"For me, this means the world," said JoeMack. "I'm from California (enrolled at Saint Ignatius as a sophomore) and my dad (Mark) is still out there. So I've had the option to move back with him. But this soccer team is the most important thing to me. I wanted to have the opportunity to win states this year. This is why I stayed, and it's all working out."

FROM THE MAN WHO HAS DEVELOPED ONE OF THE STRONGEST AND CLASSIEST HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER PROGRAMS IN OHIO AND THE NATION, COACH MCLAUGHLIN: "I was so excited, I only got two hours of sleep (Tuesday) night," said Coach McLaughlin, who before the post match prayer emphasized to his team that they are going to the State Championship match because they won most of the fifty, fifty balls against Copley.

"Collectively, this was the best defensive effort we've had all year, clearly," Coach McLaughlin said. "That was a really good offense that we played against. Perhaps the most prolific offense in the state this year. To keep them from scoring a goal, I can't say enough about how proud I am of these guys."

Coach McLaughlin pointed out how great it was to have a healthy complete lineup on Wednesday night, including difference makers like senior David Sisson on the back line and multi skilled junior forward Lawrence Karpeh. The veteran coach also pointed to another scoring opportunity that just missed, an authoritative shot by soccer savvy junior midfielder Hayden Parente that went off the left post with just under 14 minutes left in the first half.

"It was a battle of two great defenses, and we were able to put the ball in the back of the net," said Coach McLaughlin.


Courtesy of Wildcats outstanding assistant coach Joe Popelka

Saves: Each goalie had one.

Shots: 7 for the Wildcats and 3 for the Indians.

Corners: 4 for Saint Ignatius, 3 for Copley.


Wildcat Soccer defeats Hudson 2-1 in Regional Final, faces Copley Wednesday in State Semifinal
Mikal Outcalt, Coach McLaughlin selected to 4th Annual High School All-American Game

By Eddie Dwyer

Senior Mikal Outcalt, a University of Pittsburgh recruit and an All-American goalie, will be among forty-two of the nation’s elite boy’s high school soccer players from fall playing states that will take part in the Fourth Annual High School All-American Game on December 13, 2014 in Raleigh, NC.

The players selected are seniors who will have finished their high school careers and have represented their high school teams during the fall season. These players have achieved many regional and national awards and will attend some of the top universities across the country.

Wildcats Head Soccer Coach Mike McLaughlin, who has guided his state and nationally acclaimed program to five state championships and two national titles, has been chosen as an Honorary Coach for the game. Mike enters Saturday's regional finals with 328 career victories and an amazing 84-14 record in the OHSAA postseason.

The High School All-American Game is being held the same weekend and in the same proximity as the men’s NCAA Division I College Cup.  The participants will arrive on Thursday, December 11th and will attend the NCAA semi-final games on December 12th as well as the championship game on December 14th. The event is being sponsored in part by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Adidas, Unicosports, and

Wildcat Soccer takes care of Massillon Jackson in Regional Semifinal to advance in OHSAA Playoffs

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit October/November 2014

Ravenna, Ohio With the victory, Coach Mike McLaughlin's talent-rich and solidly bonded team improves to 17-2-1 and advances to Saturday's 4 PM regional final versus Hudson (15-3-2) at a site to be announced. Saint Ignatius will be seeking its 10th regional championship under Coach McLaughlin.

The Wildcats defeated the Explorers from Hudson, 5-0, on Sept. 25th at Wasmer Field.

Steve Milhoan, one of the premier underclassmen in Ohio, set the tone on Gilcrest Field's blue-turfed pitch with a powerful shot that ripped into the back of the net with 18:36 remaining in the first 40 minutes. It is Steve's team-leading 14th goal on the season.

Milhoan fired another authoritative shot that bounced off the right post (goalie's left) and soccer savvy junior Hayden "Cub" Parente was right there to tap the ball home, pushing the Soccer Cats' lead to 2-0 with just under two minutes left in the first half.

In what was a display of smooth, under control footwork, senior captain and Holy Cross recruit Bobby Barsic finished strong off a picture-perfect cross from Milhoan and Saint Ignatius led, 3-0, with 19:56 to go in the second half. Bobby's finish gives him nine goals this fall.

An athletic high-post header by gifted senior captain Matt Nigro closed out the scoring with 14:29 remaining to be played, as the Cats' offense complemented what was another impressive defensive effort by the second-ranked Division  I team in the state by the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association. Matt's header increased his season's goal total to 12.

The ever-present back four of  senior David Sisson, senior Jack Wiegandt, senior Dean Miller and junior Hunter Gordon, along with the shutdown skills of senior goalies Mikal Outcalt (an All-American, University of Pittsburgh recruit) and Clark Gronek (a George Mason recruit), kept the Polar Bears' offense on ice all night. Clark had three active stops in the final 7 minutes-plus.   

Massillon Jackson closed its season at 9-8-3.

After the Soccer Cats gathered with their coaches and their faithful student body support to sing the Alma Mater, Bobby Barsic and Steve Milhoan emphasized to this corner that the success the team is enjoying is as much about the solid chemistry off the pitch as it is the play on it. And Coach McLaughlin couldn't agree more.

"You hope as the season progresses that your group forms into a team," said Coach McLaughlin, who has led his alma mater to five state championships, two national titles and what are now 328 career victories. Mike is currently in his 20th season as the head of Saint Ignatius' soccer program and he enters Saturday's regional final with an OHSAA postseason record of 84-14.

"Through the trips we've taken, through the hard games we've played against some of the best competition in the state, what has developed is a team," Coach McLaughlin continued. "It's a group of guys who battle for each other, have a sense of where each other are and what people are doing on the field. Once you start doing things as a group of 11, then you really have a chance to do something special."

FOR THE DEFENSE:  "That's really what it takes to go far," said Coach McLaughlin of his defense, especially the back four we referred to earlier in the story. "You have to have a group of guys in the back that are men. They're hard to get around and hard to get past. You have to make sure the defense keeps showing up. That's the key."

The corner wishes to express its thanks to Ohio High School Athletic Association Commissioner Dr. Daniel B. Ross for taking out the time to be Wednesday night's halftime guest for Saint Ignatius' outstanding broadcasting threesome of Carter Spearry, James Zajaczkowski and Dylan McKeon (the Wildcats' standout hockey goalie), and their Moderator, Mr. Jeff McCormick '83.

I really enjoyed the on the air conversation Dylan had with Dr. Ross concerning last March's highly publicized (both locally and nationally), seven overtime state championship hockey game between Saint Ignatius and Sylvania Northview, where the game was called after the seventh OT tied at 1-1 and both teams were declared state champions.     

No shootout this year! Wildcats defeat Saint Edward with a 3-0 win in District Final

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit October 2014

From Krenzler Field on the Campus of Cleveland State University: Coach Mike McLaughlin's Soccer Cats, the top seed at their Division I Sectional/District, rode goals by the gifted Lawrence Karpeh, the multi skilled Bobby Barsic and the unsung John Duldner to what was a sweet and emotional victory over the Eagles, the team that had eliminated them in the district finals the past two seasons on PKs.

Playing for Jim Skerl '74, who lost a long and courageous battle with pancreatic cancer on Thursday at the age of 58, the Wildcats improved to 16-2-1 and advanced to Wednesday's 7 PM Regional Semifinal match up with the Polar Bears from Massillon Jackson in Ravenna Stadium.

Coach Jim Duffy's St. Edward Eagles closed another successful season at 11-4-4.  

Jim Skerl, who lived his life for others, taught Theology at Saint Ignatius for 36 years. He was a mentor and an inspiration to so many of the young lives he touched and that was evident on Saturday night as the student body was in a "white out" of T-Shirts dedicated to "Mr. Skerl." The Soccer Cats also wore the special pregame warm up T-Shirts that they had made in honor of their greatest fan and beloved teacher.

"Jim was literally behind this team," said Coach McLaughlin '85. "For the last 10 years he stood behind us (on a milk cart) along the fence (at Wasmer Field). These boys know it and they feel it that he's behind us still and that his love for them is something that is going to be with them for the rest of their lives, helping them to do great things like he did."


The ever-present junior Lawrence Karpeh, the pride of Saint Ignatius of Antioch elementary school: "This is great, I've always dreamed of beating St. Eds since sixth, seventh grade," said Lawrence, who scored the Cats' first goal with the match up barley three minutes old. "I used to come see Saint Ignatius play when I was little. I wanted to have that feeling of beating St. Eds. After losing two years in a row (in the PK shootouts), it was heartbreaking. I went home crying. We finally beat them, and I know we're a better team than them, it's the best feeling ever. I don't know what to say, I'm speechless."

Speechless, but oh so limitlessly talented on the soccer pitch.

"I saw the ball coming, I saw it in the air," said Lawrence of his tone setting shot. "I just made the run, took a touch to it and the goalie (Alex) Dudley came towards me. It was like slow motion. I hit it in the bottom corner, put my hands in the air and pointed to God. He's the best."

"We just have to work as a team, nobody can be selfish," Lawrence continued in reference to the ultimate goal of a sixth state title for the program. "We have great individual players, but if we work together and pass the ball, we can win easily."

The emergence of junior John Duldner: "I feel like I have to bring defensive support and once we win the ball, I have to push up and help offensively, too." Duldner said. "But once we lose (possession), I have to get my butt back and fight for the ball, winning he balls in there and then distribute. Sometimes it's hard to see how it impacts the game, but in the play of things, it's really important. "

Amen to that.

Duldner also put his footwork and offensive tools on display in the second half, scoring he Cats' third and final goal after senior captain Bobby Barsic made it a 2-0 game by blasting home the ball with 4:48 left in the first half.

"I'm not supposed to go into the corners, like the box," said Duldner, who made it 3-0 with three minutes and 41 seconds gone in the second half. "But the ball popped out, I saw it, I knew where it was going, hit it and goal."

Goal indeed, in fact it was John's second on the season after being promoted from the junior varsity.

"They're good," said Duldner of St. Edward, "but we wanted revenge. The team I'm on isn't just any team. We have chemistry and we're brothers out there. If anything happens to any of us, we're there. We've got each other's back. We're a great team."

From All -American senior goalie and University of Pittsburgh recruit Mikal Outcalt: "I'm still sitting here trying to think straight," Mikal said. "I'm so happy just to be part of this team. This team is something special and we were here tonight to prove that. We wanted to dominate and we did that.

"Mr. Skerl is up there with the best of the best people in this world," Mikal continued. "Everyone here who knew him respected him to the max. There is no man I loved more at this school than Mr. Skerl. He was just one of those guys that the moment you met him, you fell in love with his character and personality. You just wanted to be around him. Even when he was alive and now that he's gone, he's been with us from the start and we're going to carry him with us.

"We have  to continue what we did tonight," said Mikal, a seasoned veteran who put his big-game tested and leadership skills on display from the get-go on Saturday. Mikal had five saves and Dudley, a sophomore with a promising future, saved seven shots for the Eagles. "We have to play a full 80 minutes. We're confident with the players we have. We feel we're one of the most skilled teams in the state and if we come hard for 80 minutes, there is no team that can stop us."

Some final comments from one of the finest  human beings in his professions as a teacher and a coach: "John Duldner was a starting JV for most of the season," said Coach McLaughlin, who picked up career victory 327 on Saturday night and his program's 14th District Championship. "It wasn't until about three weeks ago, that he kept working hard and now he's changed our team. Johnny Duldner has really changed the dynamic of our team. It's great having him out there and scoring a goal.

"It's been a long week for everybody," Coach McLaughlin said. "This game (versus St. Edward) requires a lot of energy. And so I'm proud that we were able to have the energy required to be the best team out here tonight. I'm proud that we defended well, I'm proud that we scored goals, I'm proud that we had a shutout. This, in a lot of ways, is more than a soccer game. Every time we play them it becomes more than a soccer game. I'm just glad we were able to take care of business on the field and that we're moving on. That's what pleases me the most." 

Wildcats reach District Final with over Brecksville-Broadview Heights

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit October 2014

FROM WASMER FIELD: The top seeded Cats took the sting out of the Bees from the get go, as Matt Nigro scored off an assist from sophomore Steve Milhoan with the match not six minutes old. The same combination clicked with just under 24 minutes remaining in the first half.

Nigro's Hat Trick with 13:21 remaining in the first 40 minutes and the first of two authoritative shots by Milhoan had the Cats purring to the tune of a 4-0 lead at halftime.

Milhoan's second scoring blast in the final fifteen-plus minutes of the second half completed the five-goal blanking of Brecksville-Broadview Heights and advanced Saint Ignatius into its 20th consecutive District Final in what is Coach Mike McLaughlin's 20th season as the head of his alma mater's highly successful soccer program.

The Cats (15-2-1) , seeded No. 1 at the University Heights District, will face West Side rival St. Edward (11-3-4) in Saturday's 7 PM District Championship match up on Wasmer Field.

St. Edward, which rode Julian Castro's goal to a "sudden victory" over Normandy in Wednesday night's District Semifinal at the Eagles' Coughlin Field, has won the last two District Final encounters with the Wildcats (in 2012 and 2013), with both of those matches decided on PKs.

The Wildcats and the Eagles played to a 1-1 tie during a regular season match up on Sept. 17 at the pitch on Coughlin Field.


A YOUNG MAN WHO TRULY EPTIOMIZES THE CLASS AND TALENT THAT EXUDE FROM SAINT IGNATIUS' SOCCER PROGRAM: After he produced the first hat trick in his standout varsity soccer career, the amiable, but always humble Matt Nigro said he had two goals in a game before, but that it wasn't on a stage like the three goals he produced in Wednesday night's 5-0, District Semifinal victory over Brecksville-Broadview Heights. "It's a great feeling," he said.

"We have so many weapons and Lawrence is an unbelievable weapon," said Nigro of the Wildcats' outstanding junior forward Lawrence Karpeh. "Lawrence attracts so many defenders it allows wingers like me, Bobby Barsic and Stephen Milhoan to get more of the attention, because he attracts so many defenders for us. There is not a weakness to our offense."

As for his first goal on the night, Nigro emphasized that he got a "beautiful ball from Milhoan" and his job was to take a touch.

"I saw the goalie shifted his weight  and I went near post," Nigro said. "The second goal was also a beautiful ball from Milhoan and I sneaked around near post and just poked it past the keeper." Nigro's second goal came as he was sliding on the Wasmer  Field turf.

"On the third goal, my year round teammate Bobby Barsic, a senior captain with me, made eye contact with me and we knew what we wanted to do," Nigro continued. "Bobby played me through, I looked up and opened my body on first touch.

"To be honest with you, when this team is at its lowest, that's when we step it up," said Nigro. "When we lost  2-0 to Copley (on Sept. 20th on Wasmer Field), we didn't dig down, we dug up. We play best in our games when we know we have to. And now we know we have to prove something and we're not going to stop."

Note: Copley and Saint Ignatius finished first and second, respectively, in the final Division I state poll by the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association.

FROM COACH MCLAUGHLIN: "The guys know what's on the line from here on out," said the man who has coached his state and nationally acclaimed program to five state championships, a state runner up, nine regional championships, 13 district titles and two national championships. "We've worked hard all season and it's been a great, tight knit group all season. These guys know what they're capable of. Tonight, they put it out on the field."

THE MATCH UP THEY WANTED: As the Wildcats and the Bees were going through their postgame handshake, it was learned that St. Edward and Normandy were entering overtime in their district semifinal match.

You could see in their every expression that Coach McLaughlin and his Wildcats were not thrilled with that news.

"Yes, I want to play St. Eds," Coach McLaughlin said without any hesitation.

IN GOAL: Saint Ignatius got two saves each from its outstanding keeper twosome of seniors Mikal Outcalt and Clark Gronek and it would be remiss not to mention the effort of Bees' backup goalie Russell Slifcak, who came up with seven saves in the second half off some exceptional efforts. The Bees ended their season with 7 victories, 9 defeats and 2 ties.  

Congratulations to Junior Varsity Head Coach and Varsity Assistant Coach Jim Brennan '85 on being named Greater Cleveland Assistant Soccer Coach of the Year!
Varsity Wildcat Soccer 2014

Varsity Soccer defeats Lincoln West 6-1 in Sectional Final, faces Brecksville-Broadview Heights in District Semifinal on Wednesday
Varsity Soccer prevails over Gahanna Lincoln in regular season finale; Now on to the playoffs!

By Eddie Dwyer

Playing for their inspiration, teacher and great friend of Coach Mike McLaughlin's state and nationally acclaimed program, Mr. Jim Skerl '74, the Soccer Cats overcame an early 1/0 deficit and treated Mr. Skerl, who is ill but was still on hand at Wasmer Field, to the dramatic victory over one of Ohio's tradition rich programs.

In dedicating their efforts to Mr. Skerl, the Cats stormed back behind goals by gifted junior forward Lawrence Karpeh, multi skilled senior Matt Nigro, whose goal off a cross from sophomore Steve Milhoan gave Saint Ignatius a 2/1 lead at the 11 minute mark of the first half, and Milhoan, one of the top underclassmen in the state, who made it 3/1 with 2 minutes remaining in the first half.

Saint Ignatius closes out another outstanding and demanding regular season at 13/2/1 and will now gear up for the University Heights Division I Sectional/District, where the Cats are seeded No. 1 (see the corner's post from Friday).

Coach McLaughlin's team is scheduled to begin postseason play in a sectional final on Oct. 18 at Wasmer Field. The Cats will play the winner of the sectional semifinal between Max Hayes and Lincoln West. The Oct. 18 match up is, as of now, slated for 7 PM.    

Wildcat Soccer will have a number one seed to begin the postseason
Varsity Soccer sweeps the weekend trip to St. Louis with a win over South Kent Prep School on Sunday

By Eddie Dwyer

Standout senior Boby Barsic scores off a PK, Steve Milhoan, one of Ohio's premier sophomores, produces his second goal on the weekend and senior Mikal Outcalt provides the shutout in goal as Coach Mike McLaughlin's Wildcats improve to 12/2/1 by winning both of their games in one of the nation's premier high school soccer events (see the corner's post from Saturday night).

The Soccer Cats will close out their regular season by hosting Gahanna Lincoln on Saturday at 2 PM on the pitch at Wasmer Field

Wildcat Soccer takes game one in Gateway City Soccer Classic over St. John Vianney

Posted by Brendan DeVenney '17

With a long bus ride to the city of St. Louis, Missouri, Coach McLaughlin's Wildcats were set to face some high quality competition in the 10th Annual Gateway City Soccer Classic.

Playing in the "Showcase Bracket", Saint Ignatius went up against the St. John Vianney Griffins from St. Louis, Missouri. The Griffins earlier in the day on Saturday faced Rock Bridge, who defeated Saint Ignatius last year, and defeated the Bruins 2-0. The Griffins you could say looked fatigued as the Wildcats came out on top winning 3-1

The Wildcats came right out of the gate and scored all three of their goals in the first half. 

At the ninth minute it was sophomore Stephen Milhoan putting the Wildcats on the board and in the lead. Then at the twenty-eighth minute, senior Matt Nigro increased the Wildcats lead making it 2-0. And then at the fourtieth minute, senior Jack Wiegandt gave Saint Ignatius a comfortable cushion with a 3-0 lead.

The Griffins only goal of the game came in the second half at the twenty-first minute.

The final would be 3-1 in favor of Saint Ignatius. The Wildcats go up against South Kent High School from Connecticut tomorrow in the Gateway City Soccer Classic. The Cardinals defeated Rock Bridge on Friday.  

Varsity Soccer gets win number ten at ALHS's Memorial Stadium by defeating the Shoremen


Tuesday's shutout victory, which upped the Cats' season record to 10/2/1, was keyed by goals from senior standouts Bobby Barsic and Matt Nigro, along with some solid efforts in goal by senior Clark Gronek.

Barsic scored off a smooth pass from sophomore Steve Milhoan and one of those patent corners by savvy junior Hayden Parente led to Nigro's goal.

The overall victory total for the Saint Ignatius Soccer Program stands at five hundred and twenty one in what is now the 39th season of Wildcats soccer. That overall mark includes 128 defeats and eighty six ties.

Mike McLaughlin, in what is his 20th season as the head soccer coach at his alma mater, now has 321 career victories with five of them being Division I state championships. Coach McLaughlin has also guided his Soccer Cats to two national titles, a state runner up and nine state final fours.

Up next for the Cats is this weekend's Gateway City Soccer Classic in St. Louis. 

Wildcats knock off another top ranked team in Powell Olentangy Liberty on Saturday

By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Mike McLaughlin's Soccer Cats, after handing previously unbeaten Hudson its first loss on Thursday night at Wasmer Field, capped off a big week by defeating another of the state's best in Division I, Powell Olentangy Liberty, 3/1, at Olentangy Liberty on Saturday afternoon.

Olentangy Liberty and Hudson were ranked sixth and seventh, respectively, in this week's Division I state poll by the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association.

Saint Ignatius, Ohio's third ranked program, improved to 9/2/1 behind a goal by savvy at both ends of the pitch Matt Nigro, and two net finders by gifted junior forward Lawrence Karpeh.

Up next for the Soccer Cats is Tuesday's trip to the pitch at Avon Lake to face the Shoremen at 7 PM.


Varsity Soccer 'Cats knock off previously unbeaten Hudson on Wasmer Field Thursday

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit September 2014

Ohio City: When Coach Mike McLaughlin's nationally and state-wide acclaimed Saint Ignatius Varsity Soccer Program is at the top of its game, it is a beautiful thing to watch.

In what was a perfect fall night on Cleveland's near West Side, the state's third-ranked Wildcats played to near perfection Thursday in handing Ohio's seventh-ranked Hudson Explorers their first setback of the season, five goals to zero, on the pitch at Saint Ignatius' Wasmer Field.

The Wildcats, who have been outshooting their opponents on a consistent basis, only to see the ball shy away from the back of the net, improved to 8-2-1. Hudson, which was coming off an impressive victory at Strongsville, stands 10-1-2.

"In a lot of ways this was many of the same things we've been doing all season," said Coach McLaughlin, who has guided his alma mater to a record five boys Division I state championships. "But the difference is, we finished our chances. This (Hudson) was a good team, a top 10 team in the state coming in and we shutout them out, which is huge. One of the top players in the state is their forward Trevor Colazzo and they had only three shots on goal the whole game.

"I'm really pleased with how our defense played," Coach McLaughlin continued. "The most important goal is the first goal because it wasn't beautiful, it was just fight and scrapping, and that is what has been missing."

The Wildcats, who will travel to Olentangy Liberty on Saturday to take on Ohio's sixth-ranked Division I team (1 PM JV, 3 PM Varsity), took a 1-0 lead when the ever present JoeMack Leonardo got the best of a flurry in front of the net and sent home the goal with the match up not seven minutes old.

Saint Ignatius' defense made sure JoeMack's goal held up for the first 40 minutes by enabling the Cats' offense to maintain a possession pressure attack.

Hudson's defense, which has also been solid from the get-go this season, had a lot do with keeping it a one-goal game heading into the second half.

But then came the offensive eruption that Wildcats fans have been patiently awaiting.

Scoring three of its four second half goals in a span of sixteen minutes, Saint Ignatius knocked the Explorers off course and had Hudson's defense on its heels the rest of the way.

"It means a lot, the last few games (a tie with St. Edward and a loss to top ranked Copley) have been very frustrating," said Wildcats standout senior Bobby Barsic, who fueled the second half fire with the first of his two goals on the night - a header off a corner cross by soccer savvy junior Hayden Parente. "We've been strong defensively, but our offense has just struggled to put shots in the back of the net. Tonight, we were able to pull it off. I mean five goals against one of the best teams in the state is pretty awesome."  

And describing Saint Ignatius' play over the final 40 minutes as awesome if far from a stretch.

The Wildcats, who made the most of their 14 shots on goal, scored their third goal off a great display of defense, speed, athleticism and power by gifted junior forward Lawrence Karpeh. It was a crowd pleaser by Lawrence, to say the least. Or, as Coach McLaughlin put it, "That's what he does."

"To be honest, I think we have one of the best defenses in the country," said Karpeh, who has the ability to fire up the faithful with his special God-given talents. "It was time for the forwards to show the defense we appreciate all of the hard work it has put in, show them what we can do also.

"The defense did a great job of encouraging us," Karpeh continued. "I think it's (the offense) here now, we just have to be consistent. We have to find a way to score goals, no excuses."

Steve Milhoan, one of the top sophomores in Ohio and one of the Cats who has been consistent offensively, capped the three goals in sixteen minutes with an authoritative tap in from the left side of the net and Saint Ignatius added the five bagger on Barsic's second goal off an assist from senior Dean Miller with just over 18 minutes remaining to be played.

Senior goalies Mikal Outcalt and Clark Gronek, two of the best in the state at their position, combined on the shutout.

****Coach Jim Brennan's junior varsity program improved to 11-0 with a 3-1 victory over Hudson's jayvees. The goal by the Explorers was the first one the JV Cats have yielded all season.


Top ranked Copley too much for Saint Ignatius, Wildcats fall to 7-2-1

By Eddie Dwyer

Copley, the No. 1 ranked team in this past week's Division I state poll by the Ohio High School Soccer Coaches Association, defeated third ranked Saint Ignatius, 2/0, on Wasmer Field Saturday afternoon.

The Wildcats now stand 7/2/1 on the season and Copley improves to 10/0/1.

Up next for the Varsity Soccer Cats is Thursday night's match up with the Hudson Explorers on Wasmer Field. The 8 PM varsity match will be preceded by a six bells junior varsity game.

Wildcats are dealt their first draw of the season at Coughlin Field versus the Eagles

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit September 2014

Lakewood, Ohio: The Varsity Wildcats, who are tied for third with Beavercreek in the latest Division I state poll by the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association, yielded a goal to St. Edward's senior midfielder Collin Richards off an assist from senior midfielder/forward Julian Castro with 28 minutes and five seconds remaining in the first half.

Saint Ignatius would come back to tie the score on a picture perfect header by senior standout Matt Nigro off a corner from savvy junior Hayden Parente with five minutes and 21 seconds left in the first 40 minutes.

Although the Wildcats, who now own 7 victories, a loss and a tie on the season, controlled most of the game, the state's ninth ranked Eagles found a way to protect their pitch at Coughlin Field. St. Edward currently has five victories, a loss and three ties on its 2014 slate.

The Eagles of Coach Jim Duffy got a solid performance in goal from sophomore Alex Dudley, who made seven saves, including three exceptional diving efforts.

Wednesday night's match up marked the second consecutive year that the Cats and the Eagles played to a tie in their annual regular season encounter. Last fall on Wasmer Field, the regular season tilt ended in a 2/2 tie. The teams would meet again in the district finals with St. Edward, as it did in 2012, defeating Saint Ignatius in a shootout format, 2/1.


After his Wildcats got the better of the final 28 minutes of the first half and the majority of the second half, Saint Ignatius' nationally recognized Head Varsity Soccer Coach Mike McLaughlin said his Cats are still learning who they are as a team.

"Every time we play we're trying to put our stamp on the game," said Coach McLaughlin after Wednesday night's spirited 1 all tie against rival St. Edward on the Eagles' home pitch. "We did, it's just that scoring goals is hard.

"I think we controlled what we wanted to control," Coach McLaughlin continued. "We gave up an early goal and we solved that. These guys are learning what it takes to win as we get into October and November. I'm proud that we were able to come back a goal down. Anytime you come here (the Eagles' Coughlin Field) there is so much emotion involved. We talked all week about staying calm in the midst of a storm and doing what we wanted to do. And we did it.

"You have to put the ball in the back of the net, that will take us to the next level," added the man who has led his program to five OHSAA state championships and two NSCAA national titles. "But we're getting better every time we play and tonight was another step in the right direction."

Coach McLaughlin described Wednesday night's emotional and physical match up with the Eagles as his team's first real test of the season. And that includes the annual Jesuit Cup Tournament, where the Wildcats experienced their only loss thus far, 1/0 to Cincinnati St. Xavier.

"When you get later in the playoffs there is so much emotion that they never felt before until they are in it," said Coach McLaughlin. "And they got to feel it tonight. They handled it and now they realize they can play through it."

The special atmosphere on Coughlin Field started with a pregame prayer, followed by the National Anthem. The starting lineups for each team then took the pitch escorted by the sounds of a bagpipe threesome that included Saint Ignatius' highly successful Head Junior Varsity Coach Jim Brennan.

From there, the play of two of the state's best and the battle of the student bodies provided plenty of entertainment for all of the faithful in attendance.

Speaking of Coach Brennan, his undefeated JV Cats scored the first of their seven goals on an exceptional display of footwork, followed by an authoritative shot, by gifted sophomore Johnny Vrablic with 29 seconds remaining in the first half.

It was Katy Bar The Door in the second half, as Saint Ignatius scored six more times en route to the shutout victory. The JV Cats have now outscored St. Edward's jayvees by a combined total of 13/0 in their past two match ups.

Providing the offense in the second half were Adam Collins, who fired home a score that rattled the crossbar, sophomore Richie Holzheimer, who accounted for the third goal off a nice ball by Vrablic, Vrablic, who delivered again with just under 20 minutes left to be played, and sophomores Jon Popa (two goals) and Tommy Hogan.

Up next for the Varsity Soccer Cats is Saturday's match up with the state's top ranked Copley Indians on Wasmer Field. The 3 PM varsity game will be preceded by a 1 PM JV game.      





An impressive outing by all the Wildcats led to a win over Chardon

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

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

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

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

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


Eddie Dwyer



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.
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

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


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."


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, click on athletics and click on soccer.

Fall Soccer Tryout Information

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 --

Outcalt to become a Panther

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

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

Justin Morrow blooming closer to his Saint Ignatius roots

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 |

Soccer Alumn Vaughn Spurrier Still Shining

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:

Saint Ignatius High School Team Camp Information

Coming Soon...

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

Saint Ignatius Youth Summer Soccer Camps

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.