Jesuit’s soccer team defeated Brother Martin 2-1, and it was the first goal that started a momentum swing toward the Blue Jays on Saturday at Farley Field.
With the win, Jesuit (15-4-2, 7-0-1 Division I, District 9) won the regular-season title.
With a minute left in the first half, Chase Rushing dribbled around the right side of the box and his shot went to the left for the initial goal.
“It was a very good time. I know we needed something big to get the goal,” Rushing said. “I just knew we needed to get a goal, so I took it to the back of the net.”
For Jesuit coach Hubie Collins, Rushing’s goal relieved pressure his team might have taken to halftime.
“When he scored, I really thought it kind of changed the dynamic of the game. I think his individual play on the ball was fantastic. I just think it was a release of pressure in some ways to get that goal,” Collins said.
“When we scored the second goal, I thought we were really flying. I felt for a period we allowed them to get back in the game for a little bit, and they got an equalizer.”
After a Jesuit corner kick at the 54:40 mark, Dillon Fuchs headed the ball in for a 2-0 lead.
Brother Martin (9-2-4, 3-1-2) got its goal when Miles Francis passed to Bailey Nuss, who scored at the 55:50 mark.
At the 22:04 mark, Rushing headed the ball toward the goal, but Brother Martin goalkeeper Thomas Peters made the save.
Brother Martin’s Mark Alvendia had a shot on goal that Jesuit goalkeeper Otto Candies jumped up for a save at the 25:06 mark.
A Jesuit free kick was blocked by the closely clustered group of Brother Martin defenders at the top of the box with 37 minutes left.
Collins said his team was thinking about the tie game against the Crusaders his team had Jan. 9.
“This is a strong, tough district that we’re in,” Collins said. “We always enjoys playing against Brother Martin. We kind of felt when they played us at our place that we let them get a goal at the last minute to get back into the game for a 1-1 draw. So I think today, we had that in mind.”
Brother Martin coach Stephen McAnespie said there were some positives for his team.
“I’m going to take a lot of good things away from the game when we watch it on video,” he said.
“I’ll take that away where the guys never laid out, and we kept fighting. We turned it back in our favor.”