East Palestine's lack of experience showed.
By BILL SULLIVAN
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
STRUTHERS -- It wasn't pretty and that comment covers a lot more than the muddy turf Monday's game was played on.
The Cardinal Mooney High boys soccer team used speed, experience and a wealth of talent to defeat East Palestine, 11-0, in a Division III district semifinal at Valley Sports.
In Thursday's district championship at Valley Sports at 7 p.m., Mooney (14-3-1) will face Ursuline (14-3-1).
The Cardinals have won 10 straight district games while the Bulldogs were making their first appearance at that level.
The lack of experienced showed.
Six different scorers
The Cardinals, ranked third in the state, got goals from six different players, including four tallies off the bench.
By the time the Bulldogs (14-3-1) took their first shot in the game, Mooney had built a 10-0 bulge.
"I think the field conditions and temperature had a lot to with the way the game went on," Mooney coach Lenny Krispinsky said.
He felt the rugged regular season schedule (CVCA, Revere, Bay Village, Columbus DeSales) helped Mooney prepare for the post season.
"We knew tough competition would get the kids ready for the playoffs," Krispinsky said.
Mooney senior wing Frank Catone put together the first two-goal game of his career and added an assist off the bench.
"He's been a hard worker all year," Krispinsky said of Catone. "He's really come a long way. He worked for it; it's a great thing for Frankie."
With the Cardinals up 3-0, Catone took a pass from freshman James Simon at the top of the box. After briefly controlling the slippery ball, Catone redirected it into the corner of the net.
"I had an open corner and placed it right there," Catone said.
Mooney senior Zack Hernan scored his fourth goal just after the break to make it 8-0 and Tim Beck's second tally, with 33 minutes remaining, helped each team clear their bench.
Scores off cross
Catone then received a cross from freshman Eric Martinez and drilled home his second tally.
"It came off a cross and I finished it," Catone said of the 8-yard boot.
With the match just 40 seconds old, Mooney took a 1-0 lead on a shot by Aleko Frangopoulos. Hector Hernandez and Tom McBride also scored goals and Dom DiPasquale had three assists.
East Palestine senior Brandon Hull and junior Ricky Plum entered with 24 and 23 goals, respectively. They were held without a shot.
East Palestine goalkeeper Becky Hill faced 22 shots and recorded nine saves.