Wickliffe boys soccer: Blue Devils headed to Division III sweet 16 for first time since magical 2006 ride

Oct. 29—Dominik Severino knows better than anyone what a deep postseason run means at Wickliffe.

He started on the Blue Devils' 2006 Division III state runner-up side, a postseason charge that captivated a community and inspired a generation in the sport within its city limits.

Today, as Wickliffe coach, he got to see it come full-circle in a sense.

The senior-laden Blue Devils secured their first D-III regional berth in 16 years with a 4-1 district final win Oct. 29 against Badger at South Range.

In improving to 16-4, Wickliffe gained an elusive shot at the sweet 16 at 6 p.m. Nov. 2 against Cardinal Mooney, a 4-0 winner over Warren JFK, in a D-III regional semifinal at Boardman.

"It's awesome," Severino said. "Kind of in the back of my mind all year, I've been excited for this group. Honestly, the main similarity between the two eras is that they kind of played together their whole lives. It's just kind of fun for this team to write their own story and own thing. I'm just kind of along for the ride at the moment.

"It's a great group of kids. It's pretty exciting obviously and a good time."

Badger scored early to take a 1-0 lead in set-piece aftermath.

The Blue Devils got an equalizer approaching halftime from Shane Williams off a through ball from Colin Casey to level the proceedings, 1-1. at halftime.

"Then at that point honestly, I just wanted to get to half at 1-1," Severino said. "Just kind of settle in and regroup. And then coming out of the second half, I had nothing negative to say about us. Back four was super composed and kept the shape. Colin, Shane and Colby (Humbert) were dangerous up top. We kind of put it to them in the second half."

Kevin Byrne gave Wickliffe the lead to stay early in the second half.

"That settled us in," Severino said.

Casey and Noah Telisman contributed strikes thereafter to put the result on ice.

"It's kind of similar to what we've been," Severino said. "We know our style. We know what we have to do. It's what we like to do, and we keep pressing that."