FORT WAYNE – The Bishop Dwenger boys soccer team has a knack for doing the opposite of what you’d expect.
But they do it in a good way.
After failing to score on several chances from close range against a freshman goalkeeper at Hefner Field on Wednesday, one couldn’t help but think the Saints were just snakebit.
Not the case.
After giving up a goal to North rop, one couldn’t help but think momentum was turning in favor of the underdogs.
And after 11 years of losing at sectionals – despite having some good teams – one assumed the Saints would again falter this year.
The Saints defeated the Bruins 3-1 to take the championship of the Class 2A sectional hosted by Snider. It was the first sectional trophy for Bishop Dwenger since 2000 and only the second in the team’s history.
We’ve had a lot of successful seasons and won a number of SAC championships, but we just hadn’t had a lot of success in the sectionals, said coach Carlos Cruz, whose Saints improved to 15-2-0 this season.
So this is feeling pretty good right now.
It was feeling anything but good early on, when Northrop goalkeeper Cameron Fox foiled shot after shot. Finally, in 45th minute, Saints freshman John Pollifrone was elbowed to the turf and injured in the penalty area. On the ensuing penalty kick, senior Kenny Gase made it 1-0.
Northrop (6-9-2) tied it in the 45th minute on a goal by senior Dalton Atchison, but the Saints regained the lead less than a minute later.
If you look at the roster and who was out there at that time for us, it was mostly juniors and seniors, Cruz said. They rose to the occasion, and it says a lot about the character of our team not to allow a goal to displace them or take them out of their game. They came right back.
The winning goal was scored by junior Dominick Parsons, who beat the sliding keeper to the ball and rolled it into the net from the left side of the box.
I just got in the game, made a run and someone played me a great ball, and I was able to put it in, Parsons said. We fight. Sometimes, we might struggle in games, but we come right back. We have a bunch of team players. No one plays for themselves; we just play for each other. That’s it.
In the 63rd minute, the Saints cemented the victory with a beautiful crossing pass from senior Jacob Schneider to senior Ben Collis, who tapped it in for a 3-1 lead.
The Saints advance to the Carroll Regional, which begins Oct. 11.