Halfway through district, Jesuit Soccer finds itself one point off from being in playoff position and must continue their good run to reach the playoffs. In good form, the team has been undefeated in its last three games, with two decisive wins against Plano and McKinney along with a tie against Plano East. Finishing the middle of January with two close games, the Jesuit Rangers continue to fight to make playoffs. Let’s take a look at how both of these games turned out.
Plano West (February 18, 2020)
Plano West Wolves looked to rebound after their 5-1 loss at Jesuit by spreading them across the field and disconnecting the players. The Wolves and Rangers did not really find many good chances to score in the first half, but the Wolves kept possession for the majority of the first half and had more shots on target. Despite the statistics favoring Plano West, the game could go either way, as the score was 0-0.
The Wolves began to push on and find the goal to put them ahead for a crucial three points. Playing more forward and direct, the Wolves pushed their midfielders and forwards higher to get the goal. Attempting to get crosses in the box, West was not able to score until the last fifteen minutes of the game off, heading off a cross of the right to give the Wolves a 1-0 lead. This sparked a fire for the Rangers, who turned up the intensity to another level. Both Will Kelton and Reid Weinberger were unlucky in their respective chances, Weinberger hitting the crossbar on a rebound and Kelton not receiving a penalty call. The stars did not align that night for the Rangers, unfortunately, losing 1-0.
McKinney Boyd (February 21, 2020)
The Rangers came out ready to play on the night, producing chances early for forwards Ryan Shea and Diego Sierra. Keeping good possession, midfielders Will Kelton, Reid Weinberger, Stratton Ross, and Ben Bacile were able to outplay Boyd’s midfield, effectively dominating the midfield and putting pressure on their back-line. This pressure all culminated into a Jesuit Dallas goal by junior Reid Weinberger, who effectively placed the shot between the legs of the defender and beyond the keeper to give them the lead. Five minutes later, Ben Bacile found himself on the end of a back-post cross to comfortably give the Rangers a two-goal lead, as both goals were assisted by Diego Sierra.
The game started to result in some more rough tackles and fouls, as Boyd upped their intensity to try and pull the game back. Luckily, the Rangers matched them, continuing to produce chances that ultimately did not go in the back of the net. Despite Boyd getting a goal in the last ten minutes, the Rangers’ stalwart defense was able to hold them off, winning the game.
Despite not winning both of the week’s games, the team is in second in terms of goals allowed, exemplifying their strong defense. The Rangers finish off February with a game away at Prosper and home for Senior Night against district leaders Allen, both at 7:30 P.M. Come out and support your Jesuit Rangers!
And as always, stay tuned to The Roundup for more coverage of Jesuit soccer!