Tornadoes. Harsh rain. Snow and ice. All across the United States, atrocious weather caused everything from tournaments to band performances to even school getting canceled. Specifically, in North Texas, torrential downpour and hints of snow made events harder to manage. However, there’s one sport that goes on no matter the conditions: soccer.
Despite the bad weather, the Jesuit varsity soccer team competed in the 39th annual Meinster tournament this past weekend. These games revealed the team’s strengths and weaknesses to prepare for district games. Let’s take a look at how they did.
Bishop Lynch (January 9, 2020)
In an exciting first game of the season, Jesuit suffered a difficult start to the first half. Halfway into the first half, Bishop Lynch midfielder Cooper Stephens hit a well-placed shot from outside the box into the top corner to give the Friars the lead. Things suddenly turned for the worse for Jesuit when the referee called a penalty for a handball. However, senior goalkeeper Tom Jubin made an incredible stop to keep the Rangers in the game, ultimately shifting the momentum of the game. Once the second half started, Jesuit stepped up their game, as senior midfielder Stratton Ross put in the rebound for the tying goal. Minutes later, senior forward Diego Sierra won a penalty kick for the Rangers, allowing junior midfielder Ben Bacile to step up and slot the ball home for the winning goal.
Sophomore defender Arnold Perez expressed his thoughts on the win, saying, “When the game began, I felt that we started a bit slow and that the crowd kinda got to our starters, because we weren’t playing the way that we had the practice to play. Whenever they scored their goal, I felt that it was almost a punch to the gut to the team and that’s when we became able to finally play our game. Fortunately, Jubin made the penalty save and this allowed us to gain momentum, which was also fueled by the crowd in there cheering which allowed us to play better in harder. I felt that the farther we got into the half, the more we connected passes. The things Coach said were exactly the problems that we had going into the second half you could tell that we improved it. Although we had some of the same problems from the first half, I felt that the squad had an energy that was allowing us to play her own game and play good soccer. The energy after the first goal was unreal because you could tell that not only the fans in the crowd were energetic, but the bench, Coach DeLong, and the players on the field were energetic. I’m happy that we came away with a win.”
Belton (January 11, 2020)
In the first half, Jesuit’s starters played pretty hard were applying the pressure pretty well and holding off Belton well. They limited their chances with a couple saves from senior keeper Parker Christensen. After a scoreless first half, Belton midfielder Edgar Soto scored off a corner five minutes into the second half to give the Tigers the lead. Despite going down early, Jesuit still did well to maintain possession and muster very good chances. Unable to finish them off, the game ended in Jesuit’s first loss of the season.
“I felt that they were winning every battle in the midfield and this is what caused them to have more position in the first half. I feel that due to that the lack of presence in the midfield, they were able to dominate position in the first half. Once the second half rolled around, I felt that the second half squad was playing more clinical Soccer. There were multiple times that we were able to connect at least 12 passes that started from Parker and ended up in a shot on goal. In the second half, I felt that we played very well very good soccer and we had our chances, but we just didn’t finish them.”
Stay tuned to The Roundup for more coverage on varsity soccer!