The second leg of Jesuit and Holy Cross unfolded in similar fashion.
The Blue Jays — sneaking away with a 1-0 victory in the waning minutes of the programs’ first Catholic League game three weeks removed — again dismantled the Tigers’ defensive shell, unloading 23 attempts through 90 minutes.
Jesuit, however, had nothing to show. Until injury time.
Forward Dillon Fuchs twisted Holy Cross goalkeeper Reed Gravolet before nailing the game-winning left-post finish that sealed a 1-0 victory for the Blue Jays at John Ryan Stadium on Wednesday night.
“I saw his eyes shift right and his body contort a bit, so I tried to slide it the opposite way to make a save much more challenging,” Fuchs said.
“There’s immense pressure, especially with the match on the line and me one-on-one with the keeper, but I tried to suppress everything and not overthink the shot.”
Much like last match against Holy Cross (11-3, 2-3-1 in Division I, District 9), the Blue Jays (14-4-3, 6-0-1) dominated possession and created opportunities from everywhere on the field that just ballooned their shot totals.
A shot minutes earlier grazed the right post, ricocheting out of play. Another shot — a textbook header from the box driving downward into the net — was pinned down by the Tigers’ Gravolet.
“There were some shots from distance that required more power and accuracy and some shots much closer that, with some more composure, would have resulted in a much better effort, but give plenty of credit to their keeper,” Jesuit coach Hubie Collins said.
“He had a heck of a match and made some incredible saves.”
Jesuit’s goalkeeper, however, did not. That’s because Holy Cross couldn’t execute their counter attack, managing only three total attempts on the night. Each of the three had no chance either way — none of them on target.
“It was heartbreaking for the guys,” Holy Cross coach Matt Millet said. “To play that well defensively the entire match and to concede a goal in the dying minutes after Jesuit kept throwing it and throwing it at us was extremely frustrating.
“The kids played wonderful, but it was a mirror image of the first match.”
Said Collins: “Holy Cross became very comfortable with the defensive effort they were putting in. Their confidence grew, and they grew in stature, which made it extremely difficult to finish, but we never gave up.
“We continued to attack and attack and attack until the final whistle.”