By: Jeff Hofer
Four seniors from the Cardinal Ritter Soccer Team, Andy “Bend It Like” Bonilla, Erick “Marksman” Martinez, Jason “Holding Roll” Hofer and Scott “… Scott… Scott, Scott, Scott, Scott… Scott… Scott, Scott, Scott, Scott… Scott… Scott, Scott, Scott, Scott” ROGGEMAN, had a busy soccer summer with their club soccer team, ZYSA 02 Green culminating in a runner up finish in the US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup Nationals.
As school was finishing up, the boys won the Indiana Presidents Cup state finals with a 2-1 win over Alliance FC 02 Boys (from the Center Grove/Bloomington area) with Bonilla scoring the winner with 10 minutes left. Prior to the final, the boys had collected wins over several opponents by the scores of 9-1, 2-1, and 8-1.
The team then traveled to Overland Park, Kansas, from June 13-17 for the Midwest Regionals where they competed against the state representatives from the 12 other Midwest states. The team won five games in five days to win the Regionals and advance to the National Final Four. The boys defeated teams from Ohio South 3-1, Minnesota 3-0, and Ohio North 2-0 in pool play to advance to the semi finals. In the semi finals, the team overcame a 2-1 deficit with 10 minutes to win 3-2 over Iowa on a goal with 30 seconds left. In the finals, the team defeated Wisconsin 3-1 in overtime. Over the five games, Bonilla scored 2 goals and all of the Raider boys played significant roles..
The National Final Four was held in Murfreesboro, Tennessee from July 11-14. Teams from Texas North, New Jersey, and Nevada advanced in the U17 (2002 birth year) age group along with ZYSA representing Indiana. Pool play ensued with each team playing each other over the first three days. In game one, ZYSA defeated New Jersey (Union SC Spartans) 1-0 on a goal with 10 minutes left by Martinez off the assist from Hofer. In game two, ZYSA best Texas North (Dallas Kicks Selecao) 4-1 behind three goals from Bonilla. In game three, ZYSA and Nevada (Players SC Elite 02) put on a show with Nevada outlasting ZYSA 5-4. ZYSA, Nevada, and Texas North all completed pool play with 2 wins and 1 loss and ZYSA and Nevada advanced on tie breaker to play for the national title. The final did not disappoint with excellent play by both teams. The Cardinal Ritter contingent was again involved with an Martinez assist on ZYSA’s first goal. The game was a back and forth contest which unfortunately ended with a Nevada goal in the 90th minute giving Nevada the 5-4 win and Presidents Cup national championship. All of the Raider boys played well over the four games and entire summer and Scott Roggeman was recognized as one of the Best XI in the national final four.
The Cardinal Ritter boys all had significant impact throughout their ZYSA club team’s summer run and are looking forward to hopefully another successful regular season and run in this high school season’s state tournament.
If you are looking for a fun evening or Saturday out, feel free to come out and support your boys soccer team this fall.