Who said you have to play club?! Last night, No. 13 Collegiate beat No. 3 St Xavier, a team loaded with travel soccer talent, 2-1 in the semifinal of the Land Rover Louisville Kentucky Cup at Ballard.
It’s the second time in less than a year that the Titans have toppled The Tigers (1-1-1), the last meeting being in the first round of last year’s state tournament when they halted St Xavier’s march towards a possible fourth successive title.
Jack Lindner bagged the winner for Collegiate, while junior keeper David Keyer made some big second-half saves from Danny Belza and Adam Kirsch.
Keyer is a three sport athlete who does not play club soccer. (Hoops is his primary sport, while he also plays Lacrosse.)
However, his coach Brad Davies told us preseason — for a Vype Magazine feature – that when you see him play, he “screams prototype Division I keeper.”
Another, Kennedy Kommor, stopped playing club soccer after the 8th grade, electing instead to play three sports in high school (basketball and tennis being the others).
As a result, Davies believes both Kommor and Keyer are “way under the radar” in terms of recognition for their talent.
“We believe KK (Kommor) is one of the best pure soccer players in the state, and those with a discerning eye for soccer will agree,” said Davies.
Assistant U of L coach Mario Sanchez told him that he believed Kommor could be the best player on the field in any game they play this fall.
“Coach Sanchez has seen the best our state has to offer,” added Davies. “KK is that good. Technically he is superb and tactically he is miles ahead of most high school players. Already at the Division I university level technically, he hits a heavy ball, plays supple passes, and recently broke our program record for juggling.”
A third non-club player – and also a three sport athlete — is junior Andrew Steggeman, who played for the Titans as a freshman, spent a year away from the school, and moved back to Louisville this year.
Collegiate (3-1) advance to Saturday’s championship game against the winner of tonight’s semifinal between No. 5 Covington Catholic and No. 6 Oldham County (7.30 p.m.).
And just to exemplify how open this season is proving to be, No. 1 Ballard will face No. 2 Male this evening (5.30 p.m.) in a consolation game. In Tuesday’s first round, Ballard lost to Covington Catholic in a penalty-kick shootout, while Male fell 3-1 to Oldham County.