Boys Soccer: Young keeps slate clean to give SI third straight WCAL tourney title

St. Ignatius' Shane Slosar (left) and Sean Prior (right) celebrate after their only goal against Bellarmine, scored by Slosar, in the WCAL championship game on Thursday at St. Francis High School in Mountain View. (Photo by Eric Soracco)

By Jeremy Balan

MOUNTAIN VIEW — St. Ignatius hasn’t beaten Bellarmine in West Catholic Athletic League regular-season play in the past three seasons, but when it comes down to the league championship game, the Wildcats own the Bells.

With a second-half goal from junior Shane Slosar and a transcendent performance from junior goalkeeper Reuben Young, St. Ignatius won it’s third consecutive WCAL tournament title over Bellarmine with a 1-0 victory on Thursday at St. Francis High School.

“This night is our night. Whatever happens in league, or on the phone or in e-mails, we get it done here.” said St. Ignatius assistant coach Brian Rhodes, who was serving as head coach in the absence of head coach Sean-Michael Callahan. “We own this game.”

The lone goal of the game came off the head of Slosar, on a crossing pass from Aaron Gallagher in the 55th minute, but the star of the night was undoubtedly Young, who had a staggering nine saves in the match, including seven in the second half.

St. Ignatius junior goalkeeper Reuben Young makes a diving save against Bellarmine on Thursday at St. Francis High School in Mountain View. (Photo by Eric Soracco)

“Rueben had the night of his life,” Rhodes said. “Without him we’re not in the game. He was brilliant tonight.”

Young’s toughest test came early in the second half, when a hard-pressing Bellarmine attack sent six shots on net in a 10-minute span. Young made every save in the stretch, often making diving, acrobatic efforts. Then, Slosar’s breakthrough came just three minutes later.

“That was the longest 10 minutes of by life, but it was great though,” Young said. “Goals win games and I just do my best to not let them happen.”

St. Ignatius (15-5-2) may have taken the glory, but it was Bellarmine that dominated every nearly every aspect of the game, dominating possession and opportunities throughout. The results just didn’t show up on the scoreboard.

“We probably had five great looks in the second half, but that goalie just had the game of his life. Good for him, bad for us,” said Bellarmine head coach Patrick Lowney. “We actually liked how we played tonight, but we either tripped on our own feet and couldn’t finish or their goalie made save after save. We just have to put it in the back of the net.”

The Bellarmine attack appeared to ramp up even more after the St. Ignatius goal, and with six added minutes of extra time after regulation, the Bells had multiple opportunities right on the Wildcats’ doorstep, but again, they couldn’t finish.

“Oh my God, they added on six minutes, but when you’re a team of destiny, I guess you just run with it,” Rhodes said. “We got lucky on some of it and weathered the storm again, but we got the one that counted.”

Bellarmine won the regular season title, so the two teams will split the official WCAL championship.

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8 Comments

  1. Ward Naughton says:

    Congrats to both teams.
    This is what high school soccer is all about. Great effort by both squads.

    1-0 scores each of the past 3 years in the Championship game tells you just how evenly matched these teams are. Also tends to reinforce old adage defense wins championships.

    Perhaps we’ll see these teams play each other again, although that would require SI petition to play up division … not an easy thing to pull off

  2. IC Stars says:

    Looks like the peninsula teams won’t be taking two of the City teams on their schedule for granted anymore. First SHC beats Bellarmine, now SI. On to the CCS.

  3. Johnny Drama says:

    Another championship for the CATS!!! Hey ARI GOLD, thats now 51 more than SHC!!!

  4. SI Soccer Dad says:

    Bellarmine was dominant. Big, fast, and very deep with regard to quality substitutes. SI was missing key starters due to numerous injuries, including its top scorer and strongest defender. However, SI did have the best player on the field (Cullen Roche) who dominated whenever he touched the ball, and Reuben Young, who made save-after-save-after save. One SI senior player told Young he had never seen anyone play a better game in goal. Shane Slosar’s header off a beautiful run and perfect cross from Aaron Gallagher was magical. Well worth sitting in the rain to see this game.

  5. Roll Cats says:

    Couldnt make it down to the game due to the rain but everyone who went said it was well worth the show. Time and time again guys like Prior, Roche, and Slosar come up with big plays to lead the Cats to victories. Sounds like everyone stepped up and united in the goal of winning a 3rd consecutive WCAL championship. Seems like the Cats can handle the big stage! Good luck in CCS!

  6. Lyle and Janet says:

    Hopefully, Reuben will read this email. Grandma Pat and Grandpa John from Smithville, Ontario Canada want you to know that they are very proud of you.

  7. Anonymous says:

    SH beat both of these teams

  8. WCAL fan says:

    And both these teams beat SH … it’s winning when it counts that really matters though.

    Nonetheless, it’s great SH team continues to improve, and are actually better than most of the teams down the peninsula.

    Says something that 2 of the top teams in WCAL the past few years are actually located up north, not down the peninsula.

    When will the SF Chronicle ever figure this out, and start to devote some coverage to this great story.

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