On Saturday evening at Byers Field, the Saint Ignatius Wildcats took on the North Royalton Bears on a rainy, cold night in Parma. North Royalton had come in fresh off of defeating the Saint Edward Eagles 3-2, as the Wildcats had defeated Lincoln West, 5-0.
There was a solid turnout for fans (especially when taking into account the weather), and there were sizable student sections to both sides.
As the game started, you could tell that the field conditions were going to affect the game on a higher level. With the rain pouring and wind blowing for a good part of the day, the ball skid quite a lot and the players didn’t have much time to adapt.
Early on in the game, with just 8 minutes in, the Cats got an early lead, as senior Austin Zeleznik scored a goal off of a chaotic series of deflections.
This would be the only goal of the first half, as the remainder of the half would be a bit of a war of attrition around the midfield, with very little possession for a long period of time from either side.
Early into the second half, however, things would change. In the 45th minute, the Bears got a controversial penalty call, and would comfortably drill it pass the keeper and into the goal to make things equal.
Just one minute later, senior Nick Russo was fouled in the box, and Kyle Folds stepped in for a penalty kick. The senior confidently struck the penalty kick into the bottom left corner of the goal, adn just like that, the Cats were right back on top.
Just about 10 minutes later, the Wildcats hit another one into the net. The keeper was far out of position as the Cats began a counter attacking chance. Everett Shorey turned on the jets and makes a genius (yet cheeky) decision and chipped the keeper from just inside North Royalton territory past midfield.
After this, the game began to get much more physical, with a lot less attacking chances for either side. Until the closing minutes, when Marko Rimac knocked in a final goal to top it all off, and the game was finished. Saint Ignatius Wildcats 4, North Royalton Bears 1.
The Wildcats will now face off against Avon on Wednesday at 7 pm. at Brunswick. Come support the Wildcats!