Stronger together

After a devastating loss in penalty kicks to the Oak Ridge Trojans, the Jesuit High School Soccer team ended their season in the section semifinals. Although the team fell short of its goal of winning the section championship, the Marauder’s improved their chemistry both on and off the pitch.

The Marauders finished with a record of 24-2-1, placing first in their league (12-1-1). The Jesuit Soccer program is notorious for topping the rankings. At the high point of their season, the Marauders were No. 2 in the nation and first in the state. Thanks to the team’s competitive nature and close brotherhood, the Jesuit Marauders carried on their tradition of excellence in the 2014 season.

This competitive nature of the team was a foundation for this year’s excellence. “It’s to help my teammates. My role as a captain is to have that extra courage to push my teammate to do better,” said senior captain Gonzalo Garcia.

This year’s Jesuit Soccer team was led by Gonzalo, who contributed to a total of seven assists. Gonzalo, who committed to Westmont University this past year, plays as a wide midfielder.

The most memorable moment according to Gonzalo was the 2-1 away victory over Grant High School. Within the first 20 minutes of the game, starting goalkeeper, senior Luc Barbe, received a red card, which changed the entire tone of the game. With backup goalie, junior Brendon Belluomini, in the game, Jesuit was winning by a score of 2-1.

Grant was desperate to score as they were just trying to hang on for any chance to tie the game. Within the final minutes of the game, Grant was on the attack. A Grant player shot the ball past the goalkeeper but Gonzalo had a critical goal line save with his head. If Grant had scored that shot the game would have been a draw, but with the team’s “great competitiveness” that Gonzalo describes they were able to come out on top.

Luc Barbe also spoke to the fact that this season was ultimately different in a sense that they were a closer unit and thus was easier to play off of everybody’s strengths. “The team had great chemistry. Last years soccer team was divided and split up into cliques, this year the team was very close,” said Luc.

Due to the tremendous amount of previous success, some may say that the Marauders had a season that did not quite live up to the hype, but throughout both playoff and league play, the Marauders won over 90% of their games. With a strong crowd backing the team up, Jesuit won all but one game at home.

Although the Marauders did not reclaim the section championship that they had won two years ago, this years season was nothing short of a victory. The team clinched the league title by two wins over rival Davis High School. In league play, the Marauders won nearly 89% of their games, having only lost to Davis and drawing in a 1-1 tie with Pleasant Grove.

The Marauder’s high powered offense, scored 51 goals in 14 of their league games. Even more impressive, is the fact that Jesuit’s stout defense only let in 10 goals in all of league play. With 104 goals for and only 22 goals against throughout the entire season, Jesuit asserted its athletic dominance across throughout the Delta Valley Conference.

 Jesuit’s soccer season was successful not only on paper, but the bond between the players was notable as well. The combination of competitiveness and community helped create a victorious season and continue the tradition of excellence for which Jesuit is known.