Everything fell on the shoulders of Jesuit’s Shane Lanson and Catholic’s Patrick Riley on Thursday night.
The two goalkeepers were flawless for 110 minutes of soccer as the powerhouse programs battled to a 0-0 draw.
But one side had to move on to the LHSAA Division I quarterfinals.
It took eight rounds of penalty kicks for the powerhouse programs to finally separate themselves, but when they did, Lanson was the hero that put No. 15 Jesuit over No. 2 Catholic 4-3.
After the initial five kicks, which ended in a 3-3 tie, Lanson made three straight diving saves to his right side.
Riley responded with two equally as impressive saves, but came up just short on the game-winner from Jesuit’s Gabe Gordon.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Lanson said. “Most of the time the game isn’t on the keeper because the field players are in all the action. But in that situation, it’s all on you and it’s your job to do it.”
The entire game played out similar to the penalty shootout with neither side gaining much of an edge.
By the end of the final overtime period, the Blue Jays (17-3-4) held a narrow 16-13 advantage in shots.
Again, not letting the other out do him, Lanson and Riley had seven saves each, not including the penalty kicks, where Lanson held a deciding 4-3 lead.
“Our guys did everything they could to try to win the game,” Catholic coach Josh McReynolds said. “I look at the effort, the focus, the concentration and the execution and they did what we asked them to do.
“We had two goalkeepers absolutely stand on their heads making saves. You never see, not kids miss, but (goalkeepers) have quality saves back to back to back.”
The close game didn’t come as much surprise. In their two regular-season matches, Catholic won 1-0 and the other was a 0-0 draw.
On paper, Catholic (15-3-2) might have seemed a heavy favorite due to the disparity in seeding, but the Blue Jays were hampered in the power rankings by their schedule.
Neither side thought Thursday night was going to unfold any different.
“It comes down to having a really strong-minded goalkeeper with ability, which I think both Catholic and Jesuit have,” said Jesuit coach Hubert Collins on the mindset in the penalty shootout. “It came down to keepers making save after save, and when it went down to sudden death PKs, you knew it was going to come down to somebody scoring and somebody missing.”