Jays Score Quickly to Send Bears Into Hibernation
For the Frigid Alumni Soccer Homecoming of 2017 at John Ryan Stadium, Jesuit Shuts Out Catholic High, 2-0
Jesuit’s Next Opponent: The Jays (9-3-4) return to John Ryan Stadium to play a district game against the Bonnabel Bruins (11-3-2).
When: Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Where: John Ryan Stadium
Kickoff: 4 PM
Admission: $6 adults; free for Blue Jay students and Bruin students with school IDs; students from other schools pay $3; children ages 6-11 pay $3.
Into the Lens: View the Jesuit – Catholic Soccer Photo Gallery
There’s nothing as invigorating as watching a good soccer match in cold weather. Except maybe playing soccer in bitterly cold weather, especially when northerly gusts swirl into John Ryan Stadium, creating a wind chill in the 20s. The biting cold makes those headers sting, the fans in the bleachers feel like they’re sitting on planks of ice (woe to those who left their Carmex at home), and with apologies to Miss Peggy, the hot chocolate doesn’t stay hot very long.
But who’s complaining when it’s Alumni Homecoming, as it was on Saturday, January 7, at The Ryan?
Certainly not the 40-plus Jesuit alumni who showed up, many of whom with their young ones in tow, eager for a taste of Blue Jay soccer. Alumni who played on the state championship teams of 1987, 2002, and 2007 were recognized before the whistle blew to start the game.
And certainly not the current gladiators for this contest, the Jesuit and Catholic High players who were at least grateful that a full sun was doing its best to counter the bracing wind with a blanket of warmth laid gently across Alumni Field.
In a tournament game back on November 25, Catholic handed Jesuit its first loss of the season, a 1-0 shutout. The Jays were looking to even the score on this Homecoming day. And they did in resounding fashion, spanking those Bears into hibernation by shutting them out, 2-0.
If you missed the first two minutes of the match, then you didn’t see one of the finest headers of this season. A corner kick by Jesuit’s Christian de Gracia was deftly headed into the far reaches of the Bears’ net by Patrick Rees, a senior midfielder notching his first goal. The goal in the second minute of play stunned the Bears but energized the Jays who went on to play one of their best matches.
“We’ve been working on getting out fast, set pieces, corner kicks, and free kicks,” said Coach Hubie Collins, adding that the Jays get a lot of them in the game and they wanted some productivity out of what they had been practicing. “So it was great for Pat and great for the team that we scored a goal off a corner kick in the first two minutes of the game, which is fantastic. It really settled the team down and allowed us to play our game.”
In the 26th minute, senior Vincent Baumer took an assist by fellow senior Hunt Navar and slammed the ball past the Bears’ goalie.
“We put some seven or eight great passes together,” recalled Coach Collins, “and Hunt made a great little cross to Vincent, who shot and buried it in the back of the net. It was fantastic, a great team goal. I’m really proud of the team defensively that we did not concede a goal. It’s another game where we didn’t concede a goal, so I’m very proud of the defense and our goalkeeper, Shane Lanson.”
The Jays and Bears each had a total of three shots on goal. The Jays had five corner kicks to Catholic’s three.
The win warmed the cockles of the hearts of returning Jesuit alumni, and gave Blue Jay parents, grandparents, and students something to cheer about, not to mention Coach Collins.
“We certainly felt that we played well enough (against Catholic) in Houma on that day (Nov. 25) to get a result, but we didn’t,” he said. “We didn’t want to make the same mistake today, so we came out here on a mission, on alumni day and we’re delighted that we got the result.”
A very cold mission accomplished.