Though the scoreboard read 11-0 in the final minutes of Bishop Iretons win against Bishop McNamara, it could have read 1-0 for all Cardinal Jack Beer cared and this after scoring three goals himself.
They put 100 percent into the game, the sophomore said. It felt like they were in the game the whole time.
Beer contributed mightily to Iretons second half offensive renaissance, scoring twice within nearly a minute to put the team up by eight in the first round of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference tournament. The Cardinals slipped up the Mustangs defense seven times in the second half, despite the hulking, wall-of-a-goalie Jordan Taylor.
The game opened up offensively once they noticed Taylor wasnt very nimble on his feet, said Ireton coach Jon Reed.[Taylor] was our main point of contention, Reed said, crediting the juniors size with holding up Iretons offense in the first half. He wasnt moving his feet, so we needed to shoot around him, not at him.
And after a couple of good shots on net, McNamara was forced to switch from a zone defense for a more aggressive approach, which just opened things up more for the crashing Cardinals.
Beer stayed low; thats what you do with the big guys.
He was a good goalie, Beer said. You have to go low, definitely go low. You fake high and go low.
On the other side of the field, Ireton goalie Cory Cosgrove had an easier time of it. When McNamara came with the pressure, his defensemen deflected the ball away or pummeled the Mustangs to sneak away with turnovers.
I didnt [get] a lot of shots, but thats due to the defense, he said. I only had one or two legitimate saves.
Twice though, Cosgrove could have cost the team. Running well in front of the net Cosgrove made as if to send the ball soaring downfield. Both times the ball landed at his feet, McNamara attackers just ahead of him and a yawning net behind him.
Hes not known for his speed, Cosgrove admitted.
I shouldnt be running around like that, he said with a laugh.
As the seconds ticked down, the senior Cosgrove felt the weight mounting on his shoulders. He wanted a clean win for his final game on Fannon Field.
At the end, I just wanted to hold the shutout and the ball kept coming back, he said. That was the only point really where I felt pressured.
The first round win has lit a fire underneath the struggling Ireton squad, heading into the tournament with a dismal 1-15 regular season record. They will advance with at least one home victory behind them, said Reed.
Its a good win for us, he said. Last year we had a lot of skill and lost it. A lot of these guys had never played [varsity] before We can step off the field with one last win at home.