Beaming lights shining down on their faces, the Jesuit JV soccer players step onto the field. It signals the beginning of a new soccer season, the start of something they have all been waiting for. The Marcus Tournament at Marcus High School gives players and fans the first opportunity to gauge how the team will compete in district play.
For the Freshmen and JV teams, the tournament helps them get to know each other better and prepare for the rest of the season. Coach David Williams always tells players, “It doesn’t matter if we win, as long as we play good soccer.” Win or lose, succeed or fail, the tournament always results in both teams getting better for the future. The freshmen and JV teams played four grueling games each on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, testing their skill and stamina all the way. For the freshmen, these games always seem promising.
The incredible companionship and connection that exist in a freshman team builds success throughout the season. Most schools have two JV teams and a varsity team, but Jesuit has a freshman team, a JV team, and a varsity squad. Playing with classmates and friends always makes things easier.
Almost every season, and for at least the last four years, the freshman team wins the Marcus tournament. This year, the freshman team won all four of their games and cruised to what looked like an easy tournament victory. Coach Paulo Costanzo takes great pride in his team’s success every season.
For the JV team, the trophy didn’t seem as much a given, but the team captured it with a strong effort. Rumors of strong teams at Marcus High School and other schools abounded, causing worries of losing the cup.
However, with 3 wins in 4 games of the tournament, the JV players impressed all in their first games as a team. In the finals, JV faced Grand Prarie, the only team they tied with in the tournament, which meant a difficult game was sure to come.
After an hour of grueling play, it was apparent the teams were equally matched. With a tie after regulation play, both teams went into shootouts, where a player shoots 12 yards in front of the goal with only the goalie in his way, always an exciting addition to a championship match. One after another, players from each team went up and took their shots, until after 5 for each team, in which the excitement began. Sophomore Adam Garcia saved a penalty shot from the opposing team, making the score 5-5 all, Jesuit ahead with a chance to put the game away with one last penalty kick.
Putting all his nerves and worries aside, sophomore Steve Pearson stepped up, calmed himself, and finished the seemingly endless match, winning the tournament for the JV team.
It was a magnificent day for the Jesuit soccer program, a day highlighted with 2 championships and also a visit to the Meinster Finals by the varisty squad. With districts under way, the teams hope to continue their success and bring home some wins just like in the tournament. Go out and support your Rangers this week Tuesday and Friday!