An own goal, scored on an attempted headed clearance of Will Rudder’s cross from the left side, found the upper corner instead to give the SLUH Jr. Billiken’s a 1-0 lead minutes before the first half whistle. Then in the latter stages of the second half Sr. Ethan Buss intercepted an attempted pass back, stepped to the left of the on-rushing keeper and slotted his ball back to the far side to extend the lead to 2-0, which was the final margin.
The win gave SLUH three straight shutouts of their MCC counterparts, outscoring them 9-0 on the week and leading to a celebration with the CBC Tournament Cup. It’s a remarkable turnaround from last year’s experience when the team was shut out in all three matches, finishing last in the event. Of course, the Jr. Billikens went on to reach the Class 4 Quarterfinals where they lost to eventual champions CBC. Last years winners, Vianney, lost in their District Final as did DeSmet.
PHOTO GALLERY – SLUH Jr Billikens v DeSmet Spartans
The point is that while a nice victory, the early season results don’t necessarily predict late season success. That being said, the Jr. Billikens have clearly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with this season. Their midfield of Pietro Nicastro, Alex Lehmann and Peter Kickham are playing the roles of a 6, 8 and 10 to near perfection. Ray Goedeker as a 9 with Vacca and Rudder as a 7 and 11 caused fits for the defenses this week with their pace and understanding of their roles. I wrote about the defense at the beginning of the week and Coach Charlie Martel has the group playing like a well oiled machine. Enough so that after not going very deep into his bench to start the week, on Saturday we saw substitutions at every position except for the center backs.
For the Spartans, the best opportunities came from set pieces that were off-target or handled by Alec Meissner.
There are four MCC league matches this week, with DeSmet at Vianney on Tuesday and CCP visiting North Ballas on Thursday, while Vianney will also host SLUH and travel to Chaminade. SLUH and DeSmet will meet in there MCC game on October 14th, the final league game that could well determine the League Champion.