Nov. 4—Beachwood vs. Cardinal Mooney
What: Division II regional final
When: 4 p.m., Nov. 5
Where: Warren Howland, 200 Shaffer Drive Northeast
Records: Beachwood 17-2-1, Cardinal Mooney 16-3-1
What's next: The winner advances to a state semifinal Nov. 9 against Ottawa Hills or Ottoville at a time and site to be determined.
Beachwood boys soccer: Bison book first elite-eight berth since 2015 with 2-1 extra-time win over Norwayne
What to look for: Beachwood is now the lone News-Herald coverage area side — boys or girls — remaining in the postseason. As Wickliffe can attest following its 4-0 loss to Cardinal Mooney in a D-III regional semifinal, this will be a tall order for the Bison. ... Grant Keilin's extra-time strike from distance sent Beachwood to the elite eight for the first time since 2015 with a 2-1 win over Norwayne in a D-III regional semi at Ravenna on Nov. 2. The sophomore's growth as a commanding playmaker in the middle of the park has been fun to watch, and he's now up to 26 goals and eight assists on the fall. ... Luke Bennett's versatility and comfort at center back helps Beachwood build out of the defensive third with confidence. Goalkeeper Josh Rosenblitt had a quality point-blank stop in the Norwayne match, displaying his continued development as well. ... Ozan Sasmaz (14-6) also provides finishing knack in addition to Keilin. ... But what makes this Bison side especially dangerous is having multiple options as table setters, with five players having at least six assists including Gui Kliger (3-6), Jonathan Mo (1-6) and Leo Blond (0-7). That through ball can come from a number of spots on the pitch, so man-marking Keilin doesn't necessarily shut down the attack. ... The Cardinals are a load, physical in midfield and serving their first ball consistently with intent. Mason Janis (14-5) and Nick Pregibon (15-2), who had a hat trick against the Blue Devils, are the primary finishers. But what gives Mooney diversity into the offensive third is sophomore Aidan Hryb (11-10). His width and 1v1 skill can open up an opposing side's defensive shape. ... Beachwood will need to play into space wide through Michael Keselman (4-2) and others to test the Cardinals' outside backs and operate with its typical quickness in combination play. A timely switch or two would also be helpful. ... It's probably safe to assume Beachwood coach Brian Greene will confer with Wickliffe counterpart Dominik Severino and pick his brain on how to try and overcome this great side. ... Mooney will be a deserved favorite here, but the Bison have the quality to hang around and make it interesting — possibly more — in search of their first state final four berth.
Beachwood vs. Kirtland boys soccer: Bison continue record-setting campaign with district final shootout thriller