The Cardinal Ritter Boys Soccer Team beat the Northwest Space Pioneers on Saturday to take home their third straight IHSAA Sectional Trophy. They battled a tough, physical Space Pioneer team as well as high wins and came away with a 4-2 victory.
The first goal came under ten minutes by Gus “Bus” Esterline assited by his brother, “Elite” Eli Esterline. It looked like the Raiders would have a walk in the park, but Northwest came down with the wind at their back to score a goal shortly after to even things up. Cardinal Ritter knew right then that the Space Pioneers were not going to roll over for them.
The Raiders answered by scoring from a beautiful corner kick by Eli “te” to Aaron “Hollywood” Hofer. This gave the boys a 2-1 lead going into the half which swung the momentum and also switched the fields so they could use the wind to their advantage.
The beginning of the second half was a huge adjustment for the Raiders as the wind took their balls and shot them farther than expected. They had several shots on goal that sailed over the crossbar until Gus “Bus” scored on a cross from Ryan “High Press” Hofer to go up 3-1. Northwest battled back and scored one more goal, but “Bus” took a shot that ricocheted off the goalie where freshman standout, Jose Castro followed it in for his first goal of the season, and the insurance the Raiders needed to seal the victory. The final score was 4-2 which advanced them along in the IHSAA State Tournament.
The Raiders now move onto the Regional Semi-Final on Saturday at 10 at Greensburg High School to take on the Frankfort Hot Dogs. The winner will advance to play again at 7 PM against the winner of Herron and Batesville game. Tickets will be on sale for $7 a piece or you can buy a pass for both games for $10.