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Eastside Catholic vs O'Dea - Semifinal Recap

The O’Dea Fighting Irish advance to the championships for the second year in a row after handily defeating an injury plagued Eastside Catholic Crusader team 15-5 at Genesee Park on Friday. Story by Michael Thornbloom.

This game got off to a fast start for the Irish when they put up five goals to the Crusader’s one in the first quarter. The Crusader’s defense was unable to keep up with the speed of the Irish during the course of the first half as O’Dea kept running up the score. A lot of the chances that Eastside Catholic had to catch up to their rivals were floundered by poor passes and missed ground balls. The first half ended 10-3 and was quickly looking like the end of this state championship Crusader team.

The Crusaders came into this game without three of their key players; senior goalie Jeff Walton, junior attackman Eric Prologo and senior midfielder Joey Matte. Without three of their top players they fell easily to O’Dea in a game that appeared to be decided by the end of the first half. Despite the injuries, head coach Charles Goodman was keeping his defense’s confidence up as they played zone against a fast paced Irish offense.

The second half wasn’t much different from the first with O’Dea scored five more goals to Eastside Catholic’s two. The game ended 15-5 but wasn’t short of drama with mass penalties in the third, confusion and emotions flying from both sidelines while the officials tried to keep this semifinal from spinning out of control. The game ended with 18 total penalties and a wounded Crusader team packed their bags and went home.

O’Dea head coach Drew Snider had heard rumors that Eastside Catholic was suffering from injuries but didn’t pay it any attention when he was gearing up his boys for the semifinal game.
“Game plan was to win faceoffs, control the ball.” said Snider.

“We had a feeling they were gonna play some zone defense so stay spread, move the ball and keep it in the offensive zone and just play smart and transition.” That’s exactly what they did against Goodman’s struggling defense as they punched their ticket to Starfire.

O’Dea junior attackman Ben Luke (4g, 3gb) and senior midfielder Sam Dracobly (3g, 2a) led their team in scoring with seven goals together. Senior midfielder Cole Daninger (1g, 4a) and sophomore Axel Aymond (1g, 3a) also played huge roles in their teams win combining for seven assists on the night.

With a repeat appearance at Starfire they will get the chance at the trophy yet again but the road only gets tougher. Seattle Prep won their game against Lakeside last Saturday and O’Dea is 0-2 in their match-up this year. Regardless of regular season stats, this game is going to be electric as both these teams have proved to be top in their class.

Story by Michael Thornbloom.