The Cardinal Ritter Boys Soccer Team won their 4th consecutive IHSAA Sectional Title this weekend as they beat Bishop Chatard High School 3-1. The Raiders continued their elite level of play into the tournament and were clearly the best team in the Chatard Sectional. They began their climb to the top with a victory over Tri-West and continued their momentum with a victory over Speedway before the victory Saturday night.
On Wednesday, the team traveled to Chatard to take on the Speedway Sparkplugs in a rematch for the Sectional semi final. The Raiders found themselves in a battle early on in the match with neither team really able to gain a clear advantage or test the keepers much. As the half wore on, Cardinal Ritter got more and more aggressive looking for shots while they had the wind at their back. It paid off with 16 minutes to go on a corner kick, as Ryan “Hollywood” Hofer found Jason “Holding Roll” Hofer on the back post for the first goal of the game. The momentum was in the Raiders’ favor at that point, and they had a few more really good looks at goal, but failed to keep their shots on target and extend the lead before halftime.
The Sparkplugs came out on the attack in the second half, looking to even up the game. They got a few good looks on a goal, but Hayden “Grinder” Grider was able to stop whatever came his way. The Raiders eventually got their feet back underneath them and started to punch back and slow down the attack. As the final whistle approached, Cardinal Ritter was able to possess the ball and eat up the clock to close the game out for a 1-0 victory and a trip to sectional final.
The Raiders turned around and traveled back to Bishop Chatard on Saturday to take on the Trojans for the sectional final. The Raiders found themselves behind early after a free kick goal from the Trojans in the early minutes of the match. Due to lightning in the area, there was a 40 minute delay shortly after the goal. When the teams took the field again, the Raiders came out ready to get the game back on even ground. The tying goal would come with 16 minutes left in the first half when Jose Chavez knocked in a corner kick from Ryan “High Press” Hofer. The Chatard defense did just enough to keep the game tied at 1-1 at the half.
Cardinal Ritter came out on the attack again for the start of the second half and looked to be in control of the game. About midway through the half, “High Press,” from “The Law Firm” of Hofer, Hofer and Hofer gave the Raiders their first lead of the game on a pass from Chris Murray. Looking to put the game out of reach with another goal, the Raiders continued to push and put the Trojan defense on their heels. With less than 10 minutes to go, Chatard’s defense was overwhelmed once again on the final goal from “Hollywood” for a final score of 3-1.
The Raiders now travel to Greensburg to defend their IHSAA Regional Title against the Frankfort Hot Dogs. Game time is scheduled for 12 PM and tickets are just $6 for one game or $10 for the daily pass.