“You’ve got to believe you’re going to win, and I believe we’ll win the World Cup until the final whistle blows and we’re knocked out.”― Peter Shilton
After an impressive Meinster third-place performance, the Jesuit soccer team continued its stellar form in its final non-district games to prepare for a new district, playing to win. Looking to make a push for playoffs, the team showed their worth with points on the board. Let’s take a look at how they performed over their last couple of games during Jan 15-22:
Skyline (Jan 2)
So, technically, the game happened before the season started as a season opener, but I wanted to cover it anyway. The team had some prominent names show up to get the goals, with Spence Gilker’ 21 getting two goals in the first half. However, Skyline was able to match their bout, scoring two goals in the first half as well. The Rangers stepped up their game in the second half, as the midfield and defense stayed dominant in a more open game. The goals eventually came with Spence Gilker getting his hat-trick, as well as Grant Koshakji ’21 and Ryan Shea ’21 adding their tallies as well. This game allowed the team to get off to a great star, garnering momentum for the rest of the season.
Trinity Christian Academy (Jan 15)
On TCA’s senior night, the Rangers traveled to Addison to face the same school which actually beat the 2017 state champion team almost 5 years earlier. The Rangers’ offense scored early to get the lead, with Cullen Scott ’21, and it took a later goal by Spence Gilker ’21 to calm things down. After the third goal came with Spence Gilker ’21, the game was set in stone, with Scott getting 4 assists on the night. Showing off his technical prowess and decisive passing, he helped to run the show, as Kyle Visintainer ’21 and Ryan Shea ’21 also got goals to end the game at 5-0.
Sachse (Jan 19)
An anticipated match-up between two good teams, Jesuit faced a tough Sachse with solidity all over the pitch. However, the Rangers controlled the game at home and produced lots of chances, having 19 shots as opposed to the Mustangs’ 4 shots. In the 23rd minute, Arnold Perez ’22 hit a cracker from roughly 30 yards out, hitting the crossbar, as Ryan Shea ’21 followed it up for the goal. However, 7 minutes later, Elias Robles of Sachse finished a cutback as Cooper Tea dribbled past 3 defenders.
Despite this mistake, few chances came, with Cole Hines ’23 making some great saves, as usual, to make the game end at 1-1. His strong goalkeeping has been keeping other teams from getting lots of goals scored. Even though this game was a draw, this performance was arguably the best performance of the season so far, as the team passing was smooth and fluid.
“These non-district games were a great chance for us to show what we were capable of as a team. I think it allowed us to build a bond of trust between the players and coaches. It also showed us our strengths in the team and allowed us to make and fix mistakes so we don’t have to go through them again in the more important and difficult games.” -Cole Hines ’23, sophomore goalkeeper
“It was a very good opportunity to play teams outside our district. Overall, I would say we performed really well during our non-district play, showing out and playing good soccer. The non-district games were an opportunity to learn from and prepare for the district season.” – Chris Rodriguez ’23, sophomore goalkeeper
“These non-district games were a great chance for us to show what we were capable of as a team. I think it allowed us to build a bond of trust between the players and coaches. It also showed us our strengths in the team and allowed us to make and fix mistakes so we don’t have to go through them again in the more important and difficult games.” -Erwin Ordaz ’23, sophomore defender
A big thanks to Joe James, father of defender Parker James, for taking the pictures for the team! He is a fantastic photographer and has done a lot to help the team! Shoutout to him!
Check back to The Roundup for more coverage of Jesuit Soccer!