Soccer strides past St. Ignatius High School

Senior+captain+Cooper+Smith+faces+down+two+defenders+after+the+ball+during+the+soccer+jamboree+held+at+Rock+Bridge+High+School.+Rock+Bridge+ended+up+tying+the+match.+Photo+by+Maribeth+Eiken

Senior captain Cooper Smith faces down two defenders after the ball during the soccer jamboree held at Rock Bridge High School. Rock Bridge ended up tying the match. Photo by Maribeth Eiken

Molly Mehle

Photo by Maribeth Eiken
Senior captain Salim Gumati takes the ball to the head during their second game at the soccer jamboree two weeks before the Bruins played St. Ignatius. Rock Bridge ended this game against Timberland High School with neither team able to score. Photo by Maribeth Eiken

 Traveling to Cleveland, Ohio, Sept. 13, the boys soccer team took on St. Ignatius High School. Going into the game, the Bruins were ranked 26 spots below St. Ignatius in a national poll. However, the rankings didn’t bother the team as they cruised to a 4-1 victory.

The team knew that traveling for 11 hours to Cleveland to play a top team wouldn’t be easy. Senior Cooper Smith said his teammates were excited and confident to play against a nationally recognized side.

“We went in pretty hyped since we were playing a top power house in Ohio and a highly nationally ranked private school,” Smith said. “We were excited about the opportunity to play.”

Expecting a challenge, the Bruins teamwork and skill granted them a win. Shortly into the game, senior Jacob Kovarik scored the Bruins’ first goal after receiving a pass from senior Bailey Goyette. With 11 minutes remaining in the first half, the Bruins and St. Ignatius were tied at 1. Soon before halftime, though, Kovarik struck again after an assist from Smith.

The weather in Cleveland on the night of the game wasn’t ideal. Despite a brief loss of power and windy conditions, the boys continued to push for victory.

The Bruins’ goalie, senior Greg Kelly, kept St. Ignatius from scoring throughout the rest of the game. Things got worse for St. Ignatius when junior Connor Blitzz delivered the Bruins’ third goal. With 12 minutes remaining, it started to drizzle, but that didn’t stop senior Salim Gumati from scoring the team’s fourth and final goal.

“It was a well fought game, and pretty high intensity all around,” Smith said.
By Molly Mehle