Mooney ousts Salem in opener

Salem’s Jaun Jose (left) keeps control of the ball against Mooney’s Paul Graziano during Tuesday’s sectional opener at Reilly Stadium.

SALEM — The Salem boys has relied on its aggressive play all year to keep them in the game.

It did after halftime, keeping the eighth-seeded Quakers around for most of Tuesday’s Austintown District Division II soccer sectional semifinal against ninth-seeded Youngstown Cardinal Mooney.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t Salem’s day as the Quakers fell to the Cardinals, 2-1, at Reilly Stadium.

This was the second meeting of the season between the two. The first ended in a scoreless tie in late August.

“We grow as the game goes on,” Salem coach John Schuster said. “We try to keep that intensity throughout the whole game. Hopefully we can put one in the back of the next and keep us around.

“Unlucky for us we didn’t do that today.”

Mooney (5-8-4) started off the scoring with freshman Brian Philibin hitting a hard shot off of Salem junior goalkeeper Brian Owen, who had 16 saves.

Sophomore Nick Jadue was there for the deflection and goal with 30:53 remaining in the first half.

Salem (6-8-3) tied the game at 1-1 when junior Jaun Jose had a crossing shot in front of the goal where freshman Jacob McLachlan put it away to tie it at 1 with 28:04 before halftime.

Each team then had scoring opportunities until the 8:34 mark where Philibin connected on a cross of his own to Jadue for a 2-1 lead, which remaining until halftime and at game’s end.

Salem had a couple of shots on goal with 7:29 remaining, but Mooney goal Mike Martin made a couple of his eight saves.

Mooney advances to play at top-seeded Howland in a sectional final at 3 p.m. Saturday.

“We made a couple of mistakes in the back and they capitalized on it,” Schuster said. “Mooney is always a great team.”

The two teams have plenty of underclassmen with Salem having two seniors and Mooney six.

“He’s a got a nice young squad,” Schuster said. “We’re young, too. We’re ready to go for next year.”