Soccer Finds Breakthrough Goal in 1-0 Playoff Win Over Crusaders
The first stop on the road to the state finals may, in the end, be the hardest. Only time will tell, and time is one thing the Jesuit High School (JHS) soccer team managed quite successfully in its 1-0 regional playoff victory over district rival Brother Martin (BM) on Wednesday night.
The No. 2 Blue Jays (20-0-5) hosted the No. 15 Crusaders (9-6-3) for the second time at John Ryan Stadium. The teams had met there in late January in the district title match that Jesuit won, 3-0. The teams had also faced off at a neutral site in late November, the start of the regular season, and finished in a draw. Of course, for this playoff match both teams were fully aware that the winner advances to the quarterfinals. With so much at stake, both teams played their hearts out and competed as if it was their first time together on the same pitch.
The first half consisted of both teams scrapping to gain supremacy and trying to keep possession of the ball. Neither team created any quality goal-scoring chances in the first half except for two close headers, one by each team, and some shots from outside the box.
The second half saw both teams dig deep and as the clock ticked down and the pressure mounded, Jesuit finally found the breakthrough goal in the 69th minute. Midfielder Chris Tadros delivered a driven ball from a corner kick to the back post that was met by defender Gabe Sims. Sims somehow forced the ball over the line and into the net.
Brother Martin immediately raised their intensity in the final 11 minutes; but Jesuit remained composed, defended staunchly, and managed the clock until the final whistle. The win is the Blue Jays’ 18th shutout victory of the season.
Through the Lens…
By the Numbers…
|69’ Gabe Sims (Chris Tadros)|
In His Words…
“We needed to get our mindset in a much tougher place heading into the second half, and I think the players are really capable of doing that,” said head coach Hubie Collins, “and they proved that tonight.”
On the Horizon…
For the upcoming quarterfinal match, Jesuit will face the winner of No. 7 Lafayette vs. No. 10 Dutchdown. If Dutchtown wins, the Jays will travel. If Lafayette wins, the Jays will return to John Ryan Stadium to host their second straight playoff game. View the 2019 LHSAA Boys’ Soccer Playoff Bracket for Division I.