Only one word could describe Saturday’s 2-1 victory for St. Ignatius boys’ soccer captain Shane Slosar: redemption.
After missing a penalty kick in the 67th minute of the West Catholic Athletic League match that would have put the Wildcats (9-4-3, 4-2-3) up 2-0 with 13 minutes left, Slosar feared the worst for the last 13 minutes.
“I knew after I had missed the kick, it would be bad news if Bellarmine scored,” Slosar said. “I had opened my hips too early and it was a great save by the goalie since he had to go all the way to the far post to save it.”
Less than 10 minutes later, in the 75th minute, the worst possible thing for St. Ignatius happened; Bellarmine (6-6-3, 3-4-2) got a goal to tie up the game 1-1. With only five minutes left, it seemed like 75 minutes of hard work would lead to a draw.
Slosar ended up on the receiving end of a pass in the 78th minute which led him to a one-on-one breakaway with goalkeeper Eric Schmitt, the same goalkeeper who prevented him from scoring on the penalty kick earlier. Slosar put it in the inside post and sealed a solid 2-1 victory at home for the Wildcats.
“I knew I had to take it down and not kick it on the bounce, because if I kicked it on the bounce it would go way over the crossbar,” Slosar said. “I got a good first touch and I put it on the inside post. It took all of my restraint not to kick it my hardest because of the missed penalty earlier. It’s a relief to have that goal because I felt like I let my team down.”
The penalty kick came as a result of senior Jamie Longoni getting a yellow card in the box for tangling up with a St. Ignatius player. Longoni had four total fouls in the game, two of which the referee pulled him to the side and lectured him on safe play.
The Bells took 20 shots, including 13 on goal, but only managed to put one ball in the net thanks to the 11 saves by goalkeeper Reuben Young.
Bells coach Patrick Lowney was not in attendance at the game due to illness. Assistant Michael Hecht ran the team in his absence.
After strong storms hit San Francisco on Friday night, there was still some leftover rain to hit St. Ignatius on Saturday afternoon.
“I’ve seen worse conditions at a soccer game. The wind is no real advantage, because even we don’t know the wind. The ball simply carries out there,” said Wildcats coach John Prior. “It was quite a finish though, lots of drama in those final minutes. For once we were on the right end of it.”
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