CINCINNATI, Oh - This past weekend, the Wildcats were on the road to another annual Jesuit Cup meeting, a yearly tournament hosted by four of the best Jesuit schools in the state; Saint Ignatius, St. Xavier, Toledo St. John's, and Walsh Jesuit. Given the circumstances, the Cats had a massive standard to play to, and there was a significant amount of challenges. The Wildcats were prepared for great competition down in Cincinnati with an increasing hunger for success and further progression with team chemistry.
Saint Ignatius Wildcats 6-0 Walsh Jesuit Warriors
The Wildcats stormed into this match with a good confidence level on a blistering hot day at Ballaban Field at St. Xavier High School.
The Cats began incredibly, topping off two goals in just four minutes with seeming ease, as Josip Rimac and Nolan Spicer put effort into the back of the net. The sudden boost of momentum shook the Warriors' side, and they could never properly recover.
The Cats tallied another one on the board shortly after with a Jim Brennan '85 goal shortly after the water break of the first half as own goals are credited to JV Blue Head Coach Jim Brennan.
Despite a relatively comfortable lead, the Wildcats continued their onslaught, as senior Luciano Pechota buried a penalty to make it 4-0. The Cats put in two more, as Spicer nicely placed one, and Giancarlo Sarti also getting in on the action with a good run with the ball, finding an opening, and capitalizing in front of the net after a good build-up from Carter Snyder and Ashton Daher.
There is not much else to be said with it. The Wildcats worked the ball around, incorporated many players to show tremendous depth, and capped off an overall brilliant team performance to set up a showdown between the Bombers and Wildcats on day two.
Saint Ignatius Wildcats 6-1 Saint Xavier Bombers
The next day, the Wildcats would play off against the St. Xavier Bombers in the Jesuit Cup final, a match that always strikes a great deal of importance to the team. St. Xavier is always known to have an overall quality program, and with the Wildcats far from home and a newly motivated Bombers team, they indeed had their work cut out for them.
The match started relatively evenly, as the first 20 minutes remained scoreless, with good box-to-box attacking-minded football. With a few close calls from both sides, the Cats began to pick up a better deal of momentum, slowly but surely starting to control the overall tempo of the match.
It wasn't long that the Wildcats knocked a goal in the back of the net. Right before the water break in the first half, a great run of power and precision from striker Zsombor Onodi and a delicious ball to Josip Rimac lead to a square pass into the six-yard box to Nolan Spicer, who dragged it into the goal right before the break to make it 1-0 to the good guys.
This was deemed crucial for the Cats to build momentum over the opposition, as morale levels plummeted for their opponents.
In the 36th minute, the Cats knocked in another one, this time from the Senior Will Armsworthy, who planted one calmly into the back of the net after a swift cross from Nathan Trickett towards the touchline.
Before the half, the Wildcats scored a third, as Nolan Spicer received a ball and quickly spun to throw off the defenders, giving himself a clear shot on goal and finding the dagger for the brace.
There was no room to let off the gas at the half, as the Cats made it a priority to never take their vigilant eyes off of their opponent.
Goal number four came from an absolute heave of a throw from left-back Owen Sullivan to Onodi in the middle. The ball chipped up and over the keeper with a bit of a flick on the head.
The other two goals came in rapid succession just five minutes after the fourth. In the 57th minute, the Wildcats had great linkup passes by Armsworthy and Luciano Pechota, as Pechota finished with a lovely finesse shot into the bottom corner.
Not even a minute later, Onodi found his way through to goal and poked one past the keeper to make it 6-0, in such an incredible and brief fashion.
Armsworthy had an excellent performance, with one goal and two assists despite limited playing time, really showing utility off of the bench.
St. Xavier managed to pull one back with just two minutes left with a penalty given by the official for a handball in the box. Senior striker Tanner Creech stepped up to the penalty and took it brilliantly as it was blasted into the left-hand side of the net, the first goal given up by the Cats this season through four games.
After quite the match in the grueling heat, the Cats' hard work throughout the weekend had finally paid off, as yet another team effort brought them their fourth consecutive Jesuit Cup win.
With a great weekend on record, the Cats will play at University School on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. Unfortunately, no broadcast will be available due to no press box at US soccer field.
After the Wednesday match, the Cats will finally play their home opener on Friday against Peoria Notre Dame, a talented group traveling from Peoria, Illinois, to play the Wildcats once again after the Cats traveled there picked up a 2-0 victory in 2019. Stay tuned, as action will be great through this week! Go Cats!