Carroll’s Brandon Osterholt (with ball) dribbles against Butler as teammates Conner Bailey (10) and Connor Osterholt look on. Steve Osterholt / Contributed

Boys Soccer: Potent offense, stingy defense has Carroll confident it can make tourney run

Coach Scott Molfenter’s message to his Patriots after another successful season? Forget about all of it.

“Like we reminded everybody at practice everyone is 0-0 now,” Molfenter said, referring to the Division I state tournament that started Monday. “The record is great but it doesn’t carry over to tournament. … One of our goals is to be playing our best soccer come tournament time. We’ve kind of spent the whole year trying to get healthy. We’re starting to get some key pieces back. We’re excited to get started.”

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Carroll (15-0-2 overall, 5-0-1 GCL) shared the Co-Ed GCL title with Alter. The Patriots also won the title in 2018, but prior to that had gone the past three seasons without a championship. That’s considered a drought for a program that had won the league title from 2007-14 and had won the now-defunct Mid-Miami League championship 19 seasons in a row before that.

A potent offense has complemented a stingy defense that gelled with the addition of new players. Defenders Mark O’Grady, Will Moddeman, Mitch Johnson, Ryan Donohue and Johnny Pascual have provided stellar support for fourth-year keeper Kade Greer, who has recorded 10 shutouts. Of the six goals allowed, four were on penalty kicks.

“(Greer has) done a great job directing the defense with really a new backline,” Molfenter said. “Three of the four guys weren’t playing in the back last year. They’ve done a fantastic job so we’re proud of them.”

Offensively, Conner Osterholt leads Carroll with 25 goals and is tied with Daniel Irumva Ben Del Cid with nine assists.

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Connor Bailey and Kellen Williams have seven goals, Del Cid has six, Charlie Thompson has five and Irumva and Brandon Osterholt have four each. Brandon Osterholt has six assists, Mitchell Johnson and Daniel Truckenmiller both have five and Thompson, Bailey and Jacques Kagiranieza has four.

Carroll, which opened the postseason Tuesday with a 9-0 win over Piqua, reached the D-I district final in 2018 before falling to St. Xavier 2-1 in a shootout. The Patriots have played D-I the past three seasons, which is a sizable challenge. According to the OHSAA’s 2018 enrollment figures, St. Xavier had 1,083 boys compared to Carroll’s 294.

Still, the Patriots are confident they can make another D-I tournament run. The program won D-II state titles in 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2008 and last reached the state semifinals in 2015.

Carroll is seeded No. 2 in the Dayton area (behind Beavercreek) and ranked No. 10 in the D-I state poll.

“I think we have the potential to do it. I think a lot of luck comes into play,” Molfenter said. “It’s kind of weird. We’ve had teams with not as much talent go pretty far and we’ve had teams with more talent not go that far. This team has potential. I don’t want to jinx them but we’ll see what we can come up with.

“To be honest, I have great kids. We get kids who work really hard. These kids show up to practice ready to work. And it’s a talented group. They want to compete every day and having that mentality … the second we step on the field we’re going to train as hard as we play. I’ve been blessed working with great coaches and great kids who are willing to do that and continue it on.”

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