SH boys' soccer team picks up key win against rival SI

After both teams had to wait an extra day to tangle due to the soggy conditions at Kezar Stadium, the Sacred Heart Cathedral High School boys’ soccer team outlasted St. Ignatius 2-1 in an exciting West Catholic Athletic League contest at Crocker Amazon on Wednesday.

Sacred Heart (9-4-3, 5-3-2) received goals from senior forward Jonathon Rojas and fellow senior Dashiell MacNamara as the Irish held on for the one-goal victory.

“I thought we played well, knowing they were a tough team and a point ahead of us [in the standings],” said Sacred Heart Cathedral coach Jeff Wilson. “Our league is just so jumbled, it was important to get these two points today.”

Rojas put the Irish up 1-0 in the final moments before halftime when midfielder William Velasco set him up with a perfectly placed pass, and Rojas did the rest by using his footwork to get past Wildcats keeper Reuben Young and give Sacred Heart the lead.

“About seven games ago, we put Johnny at [forward], and since then he’s scored 12 goals in league,” Wilson said. “We just have to find him, because when we do, he’s putting balls away.”

In the 58th minute, Velasco again set up the Irish attack with a pass to midfielder Alex Voorhees, whose shot in front of the St. Ignatius net was chipped in by an awaiting MacNamara, putting the Irish up 2-0.

“In the first half I wasn’t doing so well, but the coaches talked to me at halftime and told me to keep moving,” MacNamara said. “I didn’t think Alex was going to get to it, but he put the ball in the box, and I just made a run on it.” 

But the Wildcats (7-5-4, 4-3-3) showed resolve, scoring two minutes later on Eli Love’s goal from point-blank range.

St. Ignatius controlled most of the second half, as it had eight shots on net, but had nothing to show for it.

“We started the game a little flat after a physical game with Bellarmine on Saturday,” said St. Ignatius coach John Prior. “We had a few chances in the first half, and then we got caught right before halftime there. It took two goals [from Sacred Heart] to wake us up.”

While Prior noted that his team “wouldn’t have time to lick its wounds” as they get ready for first-place St. Francis, Wilson cautioned that his Irish team wouldn’t be celebrating too much. 

“We have a long way to go and we’re never satisfied,” Wilson said.

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By Al Saracevic