By Josh Levine
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 against visiting Bellarmine, which would have put the Wildcats (9-4-3, 4-2-3) up 2-0 with 13 minutes left, Slosar feared the worst.
“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.”
In the 75th minute, the worst happened. Bellarmine (6-6-3, 3-4-2) got a goal from James Esteban to tie the game at 1-1. With only five minutes left, it seemed like 75 minutes of hard work would lead to a draw.
But Slosar ended up on the receiving end of a pass in the 78th minute which led him to a one-on-one breakaway with Bellarmine goalkeeper Eric Schmitt, the same player who prevented him from scoring on the penalty kick earlier, and Slosar buried the shot to seal the Wildcats’ victory.
“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 Bells took 20 shots, including 12 on goal, but only managed to put one ball in the net thanks to 11 saves by SI goalkeeper Reuben Young.
Bellarmine head coach Patrick Lowney was not in attendance at the game due to an illness, so assistant
Michael Hecht ran the team in his absence. Hecht refused repeated requests for comment after the game.
After strong storms hit San Francisco on Friday night, there was still some leftover rain to hit St. Ignatius on Saturday afternoon, but St. Ignatius head coach John Prior didn’t think the weather impacted the result.
“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,” Prior said. “It was quite a finish though. Lots of drama in those final minutes. For once we were on the right end of it.”