Jesuit Soccer Advances to Section Final with Win Against Pitman
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Jesuit took a lengthy trip to Turlock on Tuesday to face Pitman High School at the Turlock Sports Complex in the Section Semifinals. This match was a battle of the 2 seed (Pitman) and the 3 seed (Jesuit), and in the lead up to the game the two teams looked very evenly matched. However Jesuit created a large gap of skill in between the two teams from early on. Everything was running smoothly for them-passes through and around the midfield, good buildup plays, and good, solid defensive stops. Pitman was not a team to underestimate and they did very well in controlling their own possession and making a couple of runs forward, though they weren’t able to finish any of them. Their one glaringly weak area was defending the quick Jesuit attacks, and they had a bunch of close calls until Jesuit eventually cashed in. In the 14th minute, a perfectly shot corner kick, flying straight through the air at a flat trajectory, had a few small bumps from heads and ended up being finished straight in by Christian Honig. For the rest of the first half, Jesuit had the upper hand and kept Pitman at bay. In fact they could have scored more but got a little lazy on the finishing front, but they had the room to be flexible while still being safe.
Half Jesuit 1-0 Pitman
The intensity spiked up as the second half began, and things were still close with only a one-goal lead. The quality of both teams improved, and Jesuit was making almost no mistakes. They were also getting very precise and skilled, even a little fancy, with the constant passing. Some of this paid off when in the 54th minute Julian Churchill got relayed the ball in the middle of the pitch just before the box and he slid a fantastic ball to Zach Lozano on his right, who, finding himself in the perfect position close to the goalie but not too close, tapped the ball in across goal in between the goalie’s legs for probably the biggest goal of the game. 2-0 Jesuit. Jesuit kept Pitman at bay for the next 25 minutes or so, with a little added aggressiveness and dirty fouling among players. Then, late in the game, it was time for the most important thing to be decided: which team would go home and which team would extend their abilities to make it to the next stage. The decision was made in the 78th minute. Matthew Kahn, starting a speedy attack down the middle launched a perfect lobbing cross into the box and it was blocked out nicely to an oncoming Elijah Beverley, who smashed the ball home in emphatic fashion. It was now 3-0 Jesuit and the game looked to be over. The last couple minutes, as any viewers could see, were pretty meaningless and the game from there quickly came to an end. Jesuit, despite some travails earlier in the season, looked to be at close to their sharpest so far and came to their biggest triumph. They now take on Turlock High School on Thursday for the grand prize of a Section championship.
submitted by Gage Biery ‘20