MANSFIELD — The Lexington boys and Madison girls soccer programs have been down this path before.
The Minutemen and Rams won district titles last week and will play in the Division II regional semifinals this week.
Madison (12-4-4) will take on Lima Shawnee (9-4-6) at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Tiffin’s Front-Kalnow Stadium. Lex (15-3-1) meets St. Marys Memorial (18-2-1) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Clyde’s Bishop Stadium.
The Rams punched their ticket to girls soccer’s Sweet 16 by virtue of Saturday’s 2-0 win over Ontario. Madison has reached the regional tournament six of the past seven years, including five straight from 2017 to 2021, before falling early in the tournament last year.
“It’s really exciting,” senior defender Callie Cyrus said after Saturday’s win. “We didn’t make it as far as we wanted to last year and this year we just knew we didn’t want to end our season early.”
The Minutemen have won six straight district championships dating to 2018. Lex blanked Norwalk 2-0 in last week’s district championship game at Shelby.
“It doesn’t get old at all. Every year is a little different,” Lexington boys coach Peter Them said. “Every season we just dig in. These guys … work their tails off every day.
“They got their turn and they stepped up.”
Madison’s regional semifinal opponent, Lima Shawnee, advanced with a 2-1 overtime win over Celina. Shawnee beat Madison in the regional semifinals in 2021.
St. Marys Memorial avenged a regular season loss to Celina with a 1-0 win in the district final. The Roughriders’ only other loss was at Ontario in early-October.
A win over St. Marys Memorial would send Lexington to the regional final for the first time since 2021. The Minutemen won the regional championship that season before falling to Bay in the state semifinals.
“We don’t want to be the ones who let the (district championship) streak come to an end,” said Lex senior Dylan George, who scored both goals in last week’s win over Norwalk. “There’s a legacy that the guys before us established and we want to see it keep going.”
Madison last reached the regional final in 2020. The Rams won the Division II state championship that year. Cyrus was one of a handful of current Madison seniors who contributed to the 2020 championship team as freshmen.
“We work really hard and we’re never going to give up,” Cyrus said. “We’re a team that’s going to give its best no matter what.”