Apollos moving up after beating Jesuit 1-0
Sunset's boys win 1-0 and move into second place behind Westview
BEAVERTON - Jesuit is, and has long been, the measuring stick in Metro League boys soccer.
And right now, Sunset's boys are measuring up pretty darn well.
The Apollos proved that they belong among the Metro's best yet again last week, beating the Crusaders - the defending Metro and Class 6A state champions - for the second time this season, this time winning 1-0 at Jesuit High School on Oct. 13. Sunset then added a 4-1 win over Beaverton - last year's Class 6A state runner-up - on Monday to improve to 5-1-1 (7-2-1 overall) and move into second place behind only Westview.
'It feels really good, beating Jesuit at their house,' said Sunset senior forward Paco Thomas, who scored the match's lone goal late in the first half. 'We knew we could play against them. Jesuit's a great team, but we're also a great team.'
'It felt really good to win this one,' agreed Sunset senior goalkeeper James Nielssen after the shutout.
Jesuit, meanwhile, lost again on Monday - falling 6-0 to league-leading Westview - and saw its record move to 3-3-1 (6-3-2 overall) and a third-place tie with Beaverton.
'I felt like we did a good job shutting them down most of the game, but little mistakes led to the result,' said Jesuit junior midfielder Cody Street.
'In the Metro League, everyone is so good. There's no low team,' added Jesuit sophomore midfielder Chris Chertude. 'We just have to come out prepared like we did tonight, like always.'
Both teams sparred aggressively in the first half, but neither created a real scoring opportunity until Thomas came through with 5 minutes, 52 seconds left before the half. There, Thomas collected the ball at the top of the Jesuit penalty box, then drove a hard shot toward the left side of the Crusader goal. Jesuit senior keeper Harry Clair dove to stop the shot, but only deflected it and the ball bounced in at the left post for a 1-0 lead.
'I had a chance on the top of the box and shot it, curved it in,' Thomas said. 'The keeper touched it, but he couldn't save it.'
Sunset very nearly made it 2-0 just 1:22 later when Henry King drove the ball across the Jesuit goalmouth and teammate Jordan White made a sliding kick to deflect it just outside the Crusader goal. Jesuit's best chance in the opening half came one minute later when Nielssen came out of goal to challenge Jesuit senior Keenan dePinna. dePinna got past Nielssen and had a tough chance at an open goal but missed to the right side and Sunset carried its 1-0 lead into halftime.
Though Sunset didn't score again, the Apollos did create a number of other dangerous chances, including a rocket by White that Clair saved four minutes into the second half, and then a 50-yard free kick by senior Gus Schweinfurth that bounced off the top of the crossbar and out just one minute later.
Jesuit turned up the pressure in the final 5:20 though, with Antonio Porreco missing just left at the end of a long run, Chertude misfiring on a one-on-one chance with Nielssen with 4:40 to go, and Nielssen deflecting and then covering a hard shot by junior Shane Richards with 45 seconds left to play.
'Coming into this game, we knew there were going to be a lot of chances, going to be a close game so we prepared for that,' Nielssen said.
'I think part of what helps us is our physical fitness right now,' Chertude said. 'We're just so more fit than everyone else and it really helps us.'
To see a complete photo gallery from this game, go to www.milesvance.exposuremanager.com.