Credit: The Last Roundup (Gregory Pope)

“The vision of a champion is someone who is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion when nobody else is watching.” – Mia Hamm

This idea of tireless work manifested in this Mia Hamm quote is exactly the type of attitude the Jesuit soccer team exudes this season. Willing to work hard and support each other, the team has encountered mixed results in their last three games. Closing out non-district play on January 17, the team played their first two district games of the season the week of January 21. Let’s take a look at these three exciting games:

Sachse (January 17, 2020)

On a very windy night in Garland, the game got off to a slow start, as the players had to get adjusted to the tumultuous weather. Once the Mustangs got a corner early in the first half, a goal-line clearance from junior defender Sullivan Scott kept them in the game. The Rangers kept pushing on, creating more chances, but ultimately, the first half ended in a stern stalemate. In the second half, the game became more open, and soon both teams procured a couple of chances. However, the Rangers’ and Mustangs’ defenses stood stoutly, as the game ended in a scoreless draw.

Plano West (January 21, 2020)

Credit: The Last Roundup (Gregory Pope)

The Wolves came ready to play with intensity within the first ten minutes, producing two good saves from Tom Jubin early in the game. However, the Rangers were able to find their footing in the game, as Ben Bacile picked the ball up in the midfield, and played a ball to Ryan Shea ’21, who put the ball in the back of the net. The Wolves put the Rangers’ defense under pressure throughout the first half. Diego Sierra’ 20, nevertheless, added another goal, making the score 2-0 at halftime.

In the second half, the Rangers got on the scoreboard again, with a key pass from junior midfielder Santiago Day to set up another goal for Shea. The Wolves initially hinted at a comeback with a goal midway through the half, but that talk was nullified through Sierra’s wonderful strike into the top left corner. Game set in stone, Shea finished off a fantastic game with an impressive hat-trick, the game finishing 5-1.

Junior defender Sullivan Scott commented, “We had a strong attacking force that scored five goals, making it easy for our defense. I thought it was a pretty accurate result for how we played.”

McKinney Boyd (January 24, 2020)

In their first away district game of the year, the Rangers got off to a rocky start, conceding a goal within the first fifteen minutes of the game, sending the Boyd fans in a frenzy. However, senior forward Renin Seely quickly equalized off a long ball from Dakota Schau, tying the game up one minute later. In the second half, the game got more open, as both teams pushed on to get a winning goal. Arnold Perez kept the Rangers in it with a goal-line header clearance towards the end of the half. Despite Jesuit’s best efforts to keep the game at 1-1, after the ball came to Boyd in the last 40 seconds, they mustered one final counterattack, finishing the rebound off an acrobatic Geoff Miller save. Unfortunately, this was their first district loss of the season, done in a heartbreaking fashion.

Credit: The Last Roundup (Gregory Pope)

Will Kelton ’20 provided his thoughts over the past couple games, “First, it’s important to know that Sachse and McKinney Boyd are quality, playoff level opponents. Although we didn’t get the results we wanted, we were able to compete with these teams. We created chances and moved the ball around at points in the game in a way that we couldn’t last year. Overall, these two games revealed how much we have improved from last year.”

The Rangers look to rebound from this heartbreaking loss next Tuesday (2/4) against Prosper at 7:30 here at Postell Stadium. Come out to support your Jesuit Rangers!

Stay tuned to The Roundup for more coverage of Jesuit soccer!