Boys soccer team poised for breakthrough season

Ranking climbs to as high as sixth in state


Patrick Connolly, Challenger editor

The St. Joseph Catholic Academy boys soccer team opened the season with one of the best starts in the program’s history, ranking as high as 6th in the state. 

The team emerged with a record of 4-1 following two key wins to start the year. The team opened with an impressive 1-0 win over Division One cross-town rival Bradford. “It was awesome to see the team play together and succeed together,” said senior goalkeeper Patrick Connolly who made 19 saves in the match.

The day after a hard fought win the boys had yet another challenge, the beast of Tremper High school. “The amount of trash talk that came from the Trojans was stupid,” said sophomore midfielder Phil Rizzatano. The Lancers came into that game ready and left victorious shutting them out with a 4-0 win.

“I was so happy for the guys and so proud to see them overcome the adversity they faced,” said Coach Raul Chavez

SJCA’s next two opponents were clearly outclassed by the Lancers. The Lancers played Salem and they were simply “no match” for the mighty Lancers, said Raul Chavez. “We came out hot scoring two goals right away and played possession for the rest of the game,” said senior midfielder Joey Feudner.

Three days later the boys took on Mesmer in Milwaukee. The boys fell to them 2-1 last year so they were looking for revenge; 90 minutes later the boys we’re walking off the field victorious after a 6-0 win, but the season-long battle was just beginning.

Next came the #1 team in the state and defending state champion University School of Milwaukee. The boys fell to them last year 1-0 on a cheap goal so the confidence was high. University school came out hot scoring off of a corner kick and then quickly following that goal with a long chip clipped off of the defender’s head. Five minutes later the Lancers got their break as Andrew Alia, sprinting forward, got tackled from behind in the box, resulting in a penalty kick. 

USM was now down to 10 players because of that player receiving a red card and  being sent off. Joey Feudner quickly sent the penalty kick into the back of the net, cutting the deficit to one point. USM came out strong in the second half, but  Alia strikes again from a long through ball by Patrick Connolly making it 3-2 as the Lancers tried to answer goal for goal. USM finally put it away with another goal and the Lancers fell 4-2.

“I thought the boys played great, we will be seeing them again in the playoffs and it will be a different outcome in our favor in the second meeting,” said coach Gino Alia.