Bishop Ludden's boys soccer team had risen to no. 4 in the state Class C rankings in advance of its biggest game of the young season.
But that high mark was likely to disappear after the Gaelic Knights took a 1-0 loss to defending Section III Class C champion Fabius-Pompey Wednesday night, as the Falcons seized first place in the OHSL Patriot division.
F-P had changed plenty since last fall's trip to the state final four, most notably in the retirement of head coach Mike Danaher. Matt Neuner replaced Danaher, and the Falcons raced to a 5-2 start, 4-1 in league play.
Ludden quickly found out that the Falcons remain a formidable foe. They played through a 0-0 first half, both sides formidable on defense, the Gaelic Knights unable to get many close-up chances.
In the second half, F-P got on the board when Tyler Allen pushed a shot past Ludden goalie Kelly Beaudoin. And that would hold up, as Austin George's six saves preserved F-P's shutout.
Before this, the Gaelic Knights ran up against Class B neighbor Westhill on Monday night and played the Warriors to a 2-2 draw.
This proved to be an exciting affair, as both teams scored in the first half, then did so again in the second half. Despite 20 minutes of overtime to break the tie, neither side could win it.
Ryan Lantry and Brett Riczak earned Ludden's goals, while Jared Littlejohn gained an assist. In response, Westhill saw Anthony Scaravillo and Andrew McBride find the net, while Taylor Price added an assist.
Westhill would move on Wednesday and beat Solvay 6-1, with Scaravillo scoring twice and McBride, Dylan Tripodi, Jared Persons and Conner Powell also scoring. Kyle Hunt had two assists.