WHEELING - Steubenville Catholic has been knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten.
The Linsly boys' soccer team scored two goals in the first half en route to a 2-0 victory against the Crusaders in an OVAC Cup Tournament semifinal Saturday afternoon at Wheeling Island Stadium.
"I wouldn't say it was frustrating," Steubenville Catholic (11-1-1) coach Steve Kopcha said. "I am proud of the way we competed. Things just did not turn out in our favor.
"We competed. The kids represented us the best they could. That is all you can ever ask of them."
The Cadets played a strong game defensively and did enough offensively to win the game.
"The first time we played it was early in the season," Linsly (11-3) coach Eric Fries said. "I think it was the second game. Leo (Herrmann) hadn't established himself yet. He wasn't on the map.
"We put one of our backs on him, and he shut him down. Alec Reed did a good job on him. He played his normal position. He did a good job. I don't think Leo had a shot.
"From where we started to where we are right now, our skill level has improved. We are keeping position of the ball. We are moving the ball from side to side on the field. When we do that, teams get gassed.
"We outskill teams. We outclass them. We outhustle them. We outplay them."
With the victory, Linsly will play Morgantown (10-1-1) in the tournament final at 7:30 on Monday night, back at Wheeling Island Stadium.
Colin Riley and Cole Holubeck contributed the goals for the Cadets.
Linsly advanced to the semifinals by blanking Big Red, 2-0, in a quarterfinal matchup Monday evening at Brooke High School. Steubenville Catholic also advanced by winning a game Monday. Steubenville Catholic shut out East Liverpool, 5-0, in the first game at Brooke.
"We beat the Division II champion and now we have beaten the Division III champions," Fries said. "It would be nice if we could beat the Division I champion as well. That is what I am hoping for. We are looking forward to the game."
The Cadets were able to shut down the Crusaders' high-scoring offense.
"They tightened up their defense," Kopcha said. "They were marking Leo for most of the game.
"I think both teams made adjustments. They were a little better."
John Bolster made six saves in goal for Steubenville Catholic.
Linsly's Daniel Truong made two saves.