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Wildcats Storm Through Kentucky’s Best

By Gianluca DiGiacomo '22, 10/05/21, 3:45PM EDT


The Soccer Cats defeat St. Xavier and Ballard in Louisville as the regular season nears its end.

LOUISVILLE, Ky - Over the weekend, the Wildcats would travel down to Louisville, Kentucky, to get in two games against state-ranked teams. After a dominant showing the previous weekend against Toledo Saint Francis with a 7-0 victory, the Wildcats looked forward to traveling down to Kentucky to face off against some of the best they have to offer.

Saint Ignatius Wildcats 8, Louisville Saint Xavier Tigers 2

It started on Friday evening, as the Wildcats arrived in Kentucky around 5:00 p.m. It was a beautiful day at a gorgeous stadium; trees and countryside in the background, and an incredible green pitch (complimented by a stunning press box, too). Both teams lined up in standard fashion.

In terms of playing, though, the beginning of the match was anything BUT what we had expected. Within just 38 seconds, the Wildcats would lack communication in the back as a ball played back rolled in between two defenders. Tommy Schrepferman from the Tigers would get the ball and dribble into the box, laying it past Pat McLaughlin to score the first goal the Wildcats have conceded in open play all season.

However, the Wildcats did not resist too much after this, as the Tigers would again knock in a goal just three minutes later. Another communicative mistake in the back leads to a shot blocked by McLaughlin, but the ball spills out for Schrepferman as he secures his brace just three and a half minutes into the contest.

With such a drastic turn of events, fear penetrated through the minds of many Wildcat fans. The players, however, not so much.

The start to this match woke the Wildcats up as they progressively began reverting to their usual way, picking up speed on the attack and controlling the tempo quickly.

It would not take long for the Wildcats to rally back on the scoreboard, as Josip Rimac would knock in a goal after a delightful pass from Luciano Pechota to pull things back.

Zsombor Onodi would equalize after a stellar run down the line and into the box from Nathan Smith; after a lovely few knocks of the ball and a square pass into the middle, Onodi blasted it into the net to draw level.

Two minutes later, the Wildcats would knock in yet another one, Pechota sending in a corner, as the ball slipped past a few defenders right to the feet of Owen Sullivan, who tapped it in with ease to lead in such a glorious fashion.

Six minutes later, it was another off of a set-piece. Nathan Trickett played a cross off of a short corner to Collin Folds, who would head it and Morini would tap it in for a 4-2 lead quickly.

The Wildcats would be fouled in the box about a minute later and Pechota buried a penalty to make it 5-2.

Finally, just minutes before half, Giancarlo Sarti would play Nolan Spicer through on goal, and the Cats would take a demanding 6-2 lead going into the half, despite the scare off of the bat.

The Cats would score two more in the second half, as Onodi would secure his brace, and Ashton Daher would score as he got the ball off of a tackle of the opposition and placed it into the bottom corner on the near side.

The Wildcats would turn the game around in an unbelievable manner, winning the game with a final score of 8-2. The Cats would need rest, though, as they would play an earlier match on Saturday versus another top-ranked team in Kentucky, the Ballard Bruins.

Man of the Match vs. St. Xavier (KY) - Luciano Pechota

Saint Ignatius Wildcats 7, Ballard Bruins 0

The Wildcats would finish their trip with a match against one of Kentucky’s finest, the Ballard Bruins. With a solid record and some good players scattered, this team was not to be undermined by the Cats, despite the heroics in the previous match.

It would not take long for the Wildcats to take control, as Trickett would strip the ball away from an opposing defender and chip it over the keeper about five minutes in, 1-0 already.

Not long after, Rimac would tack on another, with an absolute work of art of an over-the-top through ball from Folds. Rimac placed it underneath the keeper for the second.

Onodi would play a cheeky heel flick pass to Pechota, who would venture past a sea of defenders as he dribbled to the left-hand side of the six-yard box and tapped it past the keeper with unmatched composure.

Sullivan would put a perfectly-placed cross from close to the touchline to Onodi in the middle as he touched it past the keeper, 4-0 to the good, now.

Daher made it five with a touch-off header from the corner, putting it past his man and firing a lovely shot into the left corner. 5-0, the Wildcats were in cruise control.

The last two goals were from Onodi, securing a very commendable hat trick and to draw him level for top scorer with Rimac and Spicer (16). All of this capped off an excellent outing and trip from the Wildcats, scoring 15 goals out of state and continuing their undefeated season.

The Wildcats will play next on the road on Wednesday, October 6 against Western Reserve Academy at 5:00 p.m. SIBN coverage will be provided, and stay tuned! Go Cats!