Correction: Loveland finished the ECC in 2nd Place behind Walnut Hills
by David Noland
Opponent vs. Indian Hill
Score 2 to 0
The Loveland men’s soccer team continued the winning streak with a 2 – 0 defeat of Indian Hill High School. The scoring came early. Just two minutes into the first half, Evan Burig scored the first goal off of a corner kick. The outstanding defensive play of defenders Isaac Gordon and Nathan Reigle kept the Braves off the scoreboard in the first half. The second half was all defense until Olisa Okafor broke through the Indian Hill defensive line to score the team’s second goal. Coach Tino Mam also praised the strong play of mid-fielders Joseph Distler and Keith MacKenzie.
Opponent vs. Fairfield
Score 0 to 0
The Tigers and Indians of Fairfield High School locked up in a battle on the Tiger turf. While there were many scoring opportunities for both teams, neither team could find the back of the net. The game ended in a nil – nil draw. The defensive unit of the Tigers was outstanding led by Sophomores Joey Papa and Josh Leonard.
Opponent vs. Walnut Hills
Score 2 to 0
Next up on the schedule was a home match against Walnut Hills. The Tigers came in to the game riding an 8 game unbeaten streak having allowed only 3 goals over the last 10 games. Once again, the Tigers’ defense was solid in the game pitching another shutout. Loveland goals by forwards Ryan Melink and Olisa Okafor accounted for the only scoring in the match as the Tigers won the game 2 to 0. The Tigers’ were led defensively by Jacob Price and Luke Davis. The win improves the JV team’s record to 9 wins against 3 losses and 2 ties. Next up for the Tigers is a trip to Turpin to face the Spartans for first place in the ECC.
Opponent @ Turpin
Score 2 to 2
The Loveland JV men’s soccer team traveled to Turpin to take on the Spartans. This game was a battle from the opening kickoff. The winner most likely would own the first ever ECC regular season title. A first half goal by Ryan Melink gave Loveland the lead. However, Turpin answered with two goals to take a 2 to 1 lead. An exciting and hard fought second half was scoreless until a Spartan foul in the box resulted in an Evan Burig penalty kick. The match ended at a 2 to 2 tie.
Opponent vs. Milford
Score 2 to 0
The final game of the season matched the Tigers against their rivals, the always difficult Milford Eagles. A win for the Tigers would mean an unbeaten ECC record. The first half was a defensive struggle. The Tigers’ goalkeeper, Matthew Noland, made a great save on a Milford shot headed to the upper 90 by tipping the ball over the crossbar keeping the Eagles off of the scoreboard in the first half. Early in the second half, Tigers’ midfielder Drew Austin found Dillon Frees in front of the Milford net for a shot that cleared the Milford goalkeeper and into the back of the net for a 1 – 0 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, Sam Fjelstul found a streaking Olisa Okafor. Okafor beat the defense and shot one to the far post past the diving goalkeeper. Just like that, it was 2 – 0 Loveland.
That was the end of the scoring and the end of a great season for the JV Tigers. The ECC regular season champions ended the season with a record of 10 wins against just 3 losses and 3 ties.
The Tigers ended the season on an 11 game unbeaten streak giving up only 5 goals in their last 13 games. The team recorded 9 shutout victories. Congratulations to Coach Tino Mam and the 2012 men’s JV soccer team for an outstanding season.