ELIDA — The St. Marys boys soccer team has been talking about its objective for weeks now — get to state.
With another 1-0 win — this time in the lair of their opponent — the Roughriders got a step closer in a Division II district championship game win over Elida on Saturday night with an early goal and more of its trademark stingy defense.
The district championship is the first in the 18-year history of the Roughrider boys soccer program.
“To name all the firsts this team has accomplished, you could go on and on,” St. Marys head coach Dave Ring.
St. Marys advances to play Maumee in a regional semifinal match on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Findlay. The winner advances to the regional title game on Saturday at noon at a location to be announced against the winner of Bay Village and Norwalk.
St. Marys senior Zack Wilker scored a goal in the opening minutes off a feed from teammate Zac Nelson and St. Marys led 1-0 with 35:21 left in the first half.
The Roughriders’ defense, which hasn’t given up a goal in 11 games, made that early lead stand up.
“I think we have the best defense in the state,” Ring said after the Roughriders received their medals and trophy at midfield on a chilly night in Allen County. “That’s 11 straight and 14 shutouts overall. We prepared for this. We had to score one and I knew the defense would come through.”