Over the past five years, there haven’t been two better prep soccer programs than Jesuit and St. Paul’s.
Saturday night in the Division I game, the two storied programs will square off in the rubber match.
Top-seeded St. Paul’s takes on No. 3 Jesuit in the Division I title game at Tad Gormley Stadium. The game starts at 7:30 p.m.
It will be the fifth consecutive postseason matchup between the two schools. Jesuit defeated the Wolves in 2012 and 2013 for the state championship, while St. Paul’s defeated the Blue Jays in 2011 for the state championship and again last season in the state semifinals en route to the 2014 title.
“We have the utmost respect for St. Paul’s and the season they have had thus far this year,” Jesuit coach Hubie Collins said. “You are talking about a St. Paul’s team that is unbeaten and we are unbeaten against in-state opponents. It is kind of fitting we both meet in the final match.”
With a 25-4-4 record with all its losses coming to out-of-state schools, Jesuit takes on a St. Paul’s team ranked second nationally according to MaxPreps and is looking to finish the season unbeaten. The Wolves come with a 29-0-3 record.
“The quality of player at each school has made this rivalry fun and one of the best in the area,” Collins said. “St. Paul’s has a great soccer program, and we try to do the best we can at Jesuit as well. When you look at all of it together, that is how great rivalries come about.”
Going for a second consecutive state championship, St. Paul’s coach Sean Moser said he looks forward to the challenge another matchup against Jesuit will present.
“When you talk about these two schools, you are talking about the two most dominant programs in the state over the last five to six years,” he said. “A lot of the players on both teams played with each other on the club level as well as on the prep scene. It’s a healthy rivalry.
“It is going to be a fast and physical match, but nothing mean-spirited or malicious. There is respect for both programs. Saying that, we have a senior class that has been to four consecutive finals and they have lost two of those to Jesuit. There is very little needed to motivate us.”
Coming off of a thrilling come-from-behind semifinal win against Acadiana in which the Blue Jays scored four goals in 15 minutes including two from junior forward Dillon Fuchs, Collins said knows his squad has his work cut out for it against the Wolves.
“We certainly respect (St. Paul’s),” he said. “But we are going to walk out onto the field Saturday night as their equal. We have a game plan and a course of action that we hope will make us victorious at the end of the night.”