The Cardinal Ritter Boys Soccer Team’s season has come to an end. The boys did some amazing things this year being ranked as high as #4 in 2A while garnering praise for their elevated play and team first mentality. The Raiders won yet another Indiana Crossroads Conference Championship and looked poised to take that momentum into the tourney. In the end it took Superman to beat the boys in the first game of the IHSAA Sectional to beat the boys.
The boys bounced back from the City Tournament by hosting the Monrovia Bulldogs for the final regular season match and senior night. At the pregame festivities all of the senior boys were honored for their successes on and off the field. After the celebration, the Raiders took no time to assert their dominance.
In the opening minutes of the game, Andy “Bend It Like” Bonilla darted in behind the defense and beat the keeper to give the Raiders an early 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs spent a majority of the remainder of the first half playing defense, but Cardinal Ritter struggled to beat the final defensive line and would take the 1-0 lead into halftime.
Once again, the Raiders scored a quick goal to open the half. This time Luis Lopez knocked one in on a corner kick. Cardinal Ritter continued to dominate possession, content to let Monrovia wear themselves down playing defense. With 13 minutes left, Robiel Fisshaye put in the final goal for a 3-0 victory, a 5-1 conference record and a share of the ICC title.
After that, the team traveled to Brebeuf to take on Guerin Catholic, a team they faced game 1 of the regular season. In game 1, the team used different strategies in anticipation of facing the Eagles in the tournament. Early, it looked like those implemented plans worked as the Raiders went on the attack and with the help of Jason “Holding Roll” Hofer, Luke Lauer and the other seniors, had complete control of the game. One particular play saw Chris Murray weave his way into the penalty box and attempt a shot with the goalie hanging onto him. There was no call, but the Raiders felt confident in their play. After a bunch of shots on goal, the Raiders still went into the half 0-0, but with a ton of momentum.
The second half saw the same thing for Cardinal Ritter. Domination of all possession, but not being able to find the goal. Guerin began to chip away at the Raider defense but only put 1 real scare into CRHS which was thwarted by Hayden “Grinder” Grider.
Cardinal Ritter found themselves in the box, and were awarded a penalty kick. Unfortunately, the Eagles goalie made a remarkable play laying out to stop the ball then found the ability to get back up and stop the rebound shot.
As the time began to tick down, it looked like this game could have gone on long through the night. Unfortunately, with about 30 seconds left in regulation, the Eagles fired a cross pass towards goal, when a Guerin played flew parallel from the ground to just barely get his head on it and deflect the ball into the back corner of the net for the lone score of the game. As stated previously, the play had to fly through the air like Superman to beat our great Raiders.
The team has nothing to be ashamed about with their accomplishments this year and the past. Many of these players were instrumental to bring the Raiders a Semi-State victory and State Runner-Up Trophy the year before. The team won another ICC title and more individual accolades will be coming based on their top notch play.
Great year Raiders!!!
All you seniors, thanks for the memories, you will be missed!!!