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.
“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.