By Josh Levine
Sacred Heart Cathedral’s boys soccer team came into its game against Riordan on Thursday with an unbeaten West Catholic Athletic League record, but the Crusaders have a bleaker streak haunting them.
Led by three goals from senior midfielder Jonathan Rojas, the Irish sealed a 7-0 victory over Riordan at Kimbell Playground to remain unbeaten in league play and extended the Crusaders’ winless streak to a staggering 113 games.
Rojas, who scored in the first minute for the Irish, got two of his three goals on assists from fellow senior Gianmichael Santimauro and fellow seniors Dashiell MacNamara and Alexander Sykulski each added two more goals in the rout.
“As with any team in the WCAL, it’s important we get off to a fast start. It’s a lot easier to play with a goal lead,” said Sacred Heart head coach Jeff Wilson. “We had a complete effort out there and our early goals helped us relax and settle, and create our space.”
Riordan (0-10, 0-5) could not end the winless streak on Thursday, adding to an already-trying season in which the Crusaders have been outscored 42-2 in 10 games.
“We always have things to learn out there,” said Riordan head coach David Siracusa. “I’m a first-year coach here and this is a team that is developing. We worked today on our early attack and brought a lot of guys up front, but that didn’t work. We didn’t quit out there and we kept our heads up.”
In the first five minutes, Riordan surprised Sacred Heart with an eight-man attack, but that left the Riordan defenders in a mismatch on two early counters that allowed the Irish to pull ahead.
“This is obviously a season-long process and we are getting better. Losing 7-0 is never in the plans,” Siracusa said. “We tried to win the half and we kept it to 1-0 in the second half, which is good for us.”
Sacred Heart (6-1-3, 2-0-2) has impressed early in the season, but still has plenty of hurdles awaiting through WCAL play.
“As I said, this league is full of good teams,” Wilson said. “We need to be creating space, move the ball well, and support each other. The best thing we have done is with Rojas. We moved him to the top at Sequoia and he has scored four goals in two games for us. That’s been huge and will help us in league.”