But Aloha pushes the Crusaders hard in their 2-0 Monday loss

ALOHA — The 2012 fall weather finally turned cold on Monday night, and in response, the Jesuit boys soccer team turned up the heat.

The Metro League-leading Crusaders pressured the Warriors all over the field on Monday at Aloha High School, and while the Warrior defense responded heroically, Jesuit pushed across one goal in each of the game’s two halves to notch a 2-0 victory. The win lifted Jesuit’s Metro League record to 8-0-1 and sealed up the 2012 league title, while the Warriors fell to 1-8-0 and sixth place with one league match remaining.

by: MILES VANCE - HEAD OF THE CLASS - Jesuit senior Brian DeGrandmont makes a header while defended by Aloha

Now, the Crusaders can turn their sights to the coming Class 6A state playoffs — second-ranked Jesuit will open the second season with a home game on Nov. 3.

“I think we have enough talent, but it all comes from the heart, especially down deep in the playoffs,” said Jesuit senior midfielder Brian DeGrandmont, who assisted on his team’s first goal. “We’ve just got to keep fighting. It’s whoever wants it more, and I think we have the heart to win it all.”

For their part, the Warriors know they’re headed to a Play-In game on Saturday, but they believe they have what it takes to win that game and move forward in the playoffs.

“People will see we’re at the bottom of the league, but they have no idea what it’s like to play in the Metro League,” said Aloha senior defender and captain Edgar Rivera. “It’s the toughest league in the state by far. We’re going to go out there, people are going to underestimate us and we’re going to come out there and surprise people. That’s what we do.”

“We’ve just got to work harder,” added Aloha senior forward Gustavo Mendoza. “Every game has 80 minutes, and in those 80 minutes, anything can happen. That’s the beauty of this sport.”

The Crusaders scored the night’s first goal 26 minutes into the contest when DeGrandmont made a run down the right wing, then sent the ball into sophomore midfielder Henry Rocker who knocked it home for a 1-0 lead.

DeGrandmont “probably could have took it himself, but unselfish player that he is, he laid it off to me and gave me an opportunity to get on the stat sheet,” Rocker said.

Jesuit kept the heat on in the second half, getting dangerous shots from Andy Buhler and Joel Schierman, then the game’s second goal when Rocker scored on a rebound after Christo Michaelson hammered a hard shot that was deflected by Aloha keeper Jorge Rodriguez with 22:54 left in the match.

The Warriors didn’t have a bundle of opportunities in that second half, but did indeed have some chances, first a strong run and shot by Mendoza that was stopped by John Melito seven minutes into the second half, next a volley by Junior Cordon that missed just right, and finally, an Omar Gonzalez corner kick that was knocked away at the last moment with four minutes left on the clock.

“We see where Aloha is in the standings, but they’re one of our rivals,” DeGrandmont said. “We see them as tough competitors. We come into every single game saying we’ve got to beat this team.”

“They’re a really good team ... but we had good opportunities,” Mendoza said. “We just couldn’t finish.”

“I think we played very well,” Rivera added. “We never gave up ‘til the last whistle. We went all the way.”

In the final round of league play, Aloha plays at Southridge at 7:30 p.m. Monday, while Jesuit plays at Beaverton at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

To see a complete photo gallery from this game, please go to

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