On a cloudy Tuesday night on Wasmer Field, the Saint Ignatius varsity soccer team took care of business.
The Wildcats defeated the University School Preppers, 4-1, advancing to 9-0-2 on the year.
Senior Captain Kyle Healy scored a penalty kick in the first 15 seconds of the game. The Preppers later answered with a goal off a corner kick to tie it, 1-1.
"It's nice to score in the first 15 seconds," said Head Soccer Coach Mike McLaughlin '85. "Then they had a really dangerous set piece that we struggled with. You want to jump on teams as quick as you can."
The game then went back-and-forth for the next 20 minutes or so, as the teams poked at the defenses.
"We had a feeling they were going to sit back and try to make it difficult for us to get to the goal, and they did, like other games we've played this season," McLaughlin said. "For 20 minutes, we picked away at it, then in the rest of the half, things opened up. Teams will try to stay in the game as long as they can, but once we start finding the seams and get the ball out wide, the game changes.
Kyle Folds had a cheeky free kick for the Cats to take the lead, putting it on the ground going under the Prepper wall. Folds buried the ball in the left corner.
Everett Shorey and senior captain Henry Curtis tallied two more late in the first half to make it 4-1 entering the break.
The game was back in forth in the second half, with both teams having plenty of chances to score. Neither team could put it in the back of the net, however. The Wildcats' defense did a great job despite letting up one goal.
The Soccer Cats travel to New Jersey on Thursday to take on St. Benedict's Prep, the No. 1 team in the country. The Wildcats will also be in New York on Saturday to play Chaminade. The JV Cats won 5-1 to add another win to there record.
McLaughlin mentioned two important things for the Wildcats to remember on the trip to NYC and NJ.
"First, mentally realizing that we can play with a team like this. Secondly, taking it to them," McLaughlin said. "This is a rare occurrence because they are the top team in the country, not us. When we play, we have the bullseye on our back. On Friday, they will have the bullseye on their back. There's actually a little bit of freedom going into this game. Let's go out there and see what we can do, see how we can play. I'm excited to see how we measure up. They're loaded and really deep. I hear they sub eight kids a time, and there's no drop-off."