MASON, Ohio — The Moeller lacrosse team is on the way to its third consecutive regional final.
The Crusaders defeated host Mason 9-6 in a Division I regional semifinal Tuesday night. It was a rematch of a regular-season game that Mason won by a goal in early May.
“These guys are rallying,” Moeller coach Sean McGinnis said. “We always talk abou (how) the season will take care of itself. We play a really hard season. We played some really hard games in the middle, but these kids keep working hard, and they are coachable. They are coming together at the most important time in May.”
Moeller (16-6), the No. 5 seed in Region 4, will play Greater Catholic South division rival and No. 3 seed St. Xavier (16-6) 7 p.m. Friday at Taylor High School.
St. Xavier defeated Sycamore Tuesday night in the other regional semifinal. The Bombers defeated Moeller in the only other regular-season meeting between the two programs at Nippert Stadium earlier this spring.
“You just got to go 48 minutes of really hard lacrosse — that’s all,” McGinnis said.
On Tuesday night, sophomore TJ Rotello had three goals while sophomore Lane Miller and senior Brendan Sigurdson added two goals each for the Crusaders. Seniors Dylan Warner and Cole Grilliot each got a goal of their own.
Rotello, who also had an assist, scored two of his goals in the second half, including an assist from Grilliot at the 6:36 mark of the fourth quarter to give Moeller 9-5 lead.
“TJ – that is typical,” McGinnis said. “That kid has one speed, and it’s 100 miles per hour. Big goals, big defensive stops and big ground balls when we need it. Only being a sophomore, he’s got a big upside for us the next couple of seasons.”
Rotello said it was simply a team win.
"We ran the offense perfectly," he said.
Sophomore goalkeeper Ian Ellis had 13 saves and improved to 11-2 this season for Moeller.
Sigurdson had two goals and an assist. He has 56 goals this season and 169 for his career.
“I can’t do any of it without my teammates, so all credit just goes to them,” Sigurdson said. “I am working just as hard as they are, so everything is going the right way I guess.”
McGinnis said Sigurdson represents so much to the Crusaders.
"He's just a difference-maker for our team and he's been that for four years," McGinnis said.
Mason (16-6), the No. 2 seed in the region, was led by senior Xander Wells with two goals. Senior Benjamin Cimini, junior Carson Croy, senior Brendan Ross and senior Brenden Malloy also scored for the Comets.
Junior Samuel Lopiccolo had seven saves for the Comets.