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Flyers claim SOC I soccer title


St. Joseph Flyers’ Zachary Johnson (left) scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory over the Lucasville Valley Indians on Tuesday. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

LUCASVILLE — This one belongs to the Flyers. And only the Flyers.
Last season, the St. Joseph Flyers won the Southern Ohio Conference Division 1 soccer championship. The Flyers were in line for another league title when they met the Lucasville Valley Indians on Tuesday.
However, if the Indians beat the Flyers the teams would have tied for the conference crown.
The Flyers settled the issue and stake claim to a sole championship as they beat the Indians 1-0.
The Flyers are now 10-1 on the season and 4-0-1 in the SOC.
“Our team motto is ‘Play hard, play smart and play together,’” said Flyers’ coach Mike Balestra.
“Together means unselfishly trusting your teammates and doing everything possible not to let them down. The boys lived by that motto all season and tonight they were rewarded for it. It was a great team effort.”
Zachary Johnson scored the lone goal of the game in the second half and the defense took over. Goalkeeper Jimmy Mahlmeister had 15 saves as the Flyers posted their seventh shutout of the season.
“Both teams played well and very aggressive. It was a good game and neither team left anything on the field,” said Balestra.
“Valley had a good game plan and shadowed our leading scorers all game. We had very few shots in the first half. However, we made a couple of adjustments at halftime and it worked.”
The Flyers took 15 shots with four on goals. They had five fouls and six corner kicks.
Valley took 20 shots with 15 on goal. They had six fouls and three corner kicks.
The Indians’ goalkeeper Wesley Holbrook had three saves.