Against Catholic League rival Jesuit, Brother Martin stumbled in a 1-1 tie on Friday.
On Monday, the Division I fifth-ranked Crusaders didn’t need a come-from-behind effort.
Brother Martin (7-1-4, 3-0-2) struck early in the first half, and keeper Thomas Peters stomached each of Grace King’s chances as the Crusaders inched past the Fighting Irish 1-0 at Tad Gormley Stadium.
Forward Austin Bourgeois flicked the ball past the keeper’s outstretched hands and into the far right post for the go-ahead goal in the 14th minute.
“I started high-tailing it to the middle of the goal,” Bourgeois said. “I lost it as it dropped in behind a defender, but it popped up out of nowhere, and I just threw my body in front of it to try to make a play.”
Lead intact, the Crusaders survived a barrage of shots from Grace King (10-5-2, 6-2), which fielded several different players in the second half to spark a better effort which ballooned their shot total from two to 10.
“We started some of our second unit players in the first half,” Grace King coach Raul Hernandez said. “Then we brought the starters back in and just pressured them. Our guys made some quick combination passes and we tried to be more aggressive.”
On a number of occasions, Grace King threatened Brother Martin’s lead. Perhaps the closest opportunity came minutes after intermission.
Grace King forward Marcelo Carias corralled a through ball popping before him and muscled a right-foot attempt that grazed the right post, ricocheting out of play.
It was the first of many close calls for the Crusaders.
Later, a mistake by Peters gifted the Fighting Irish an open goal. Pushing forward on the right wing, Carias again unloaded. However, this time, a charging Crusader defender cleared the 18-yard effort, preserving the one-goal cushion.
Peters settled himself and snatched up the remaining would-be-game-tying shots.
“I can always rely on him for everything,” defender Marc Alvendia said of Peters. “I don’t ever have fear when there’s a breakdown or anything because I know he’s back there behind us ready to make a save.”