The key factors in the Fightin’ Irish’s win were their speed, spacing, and ability to finish. Catholic senior Evan Craig helped set the tone early. In the fourth minute of the game, Craig put one in the back of the net to give his team the early lead. The team was not done scoring though. The Fightin’ Irish scored five goals in the first half.
In command for the majority of the first half, head coach Tom Guinn had to be sure to manage his team carefully. Catholic played their starting goal keeper for the first time this season after he missed the first three games of the season with an injury. To add to the list of injuries, starter and senior captain Danny Reener has had to sit all four games with an injury. The Irish are having to be sure not to put any more players in a position to get injured and out of the line up.
They got a scare in the first half when starting senior Ryan Randell rolled his ankle on an attempted slide tackle. Randell fortunately returned for Catholic in the second half after resting the remainder of the first half and getting assistance from the trainer.
Though without Randell, Craig and fellow senior captain Mitchell Moncada held down the team. Moncada had three goals in the game, two in the first half and one in the second. Craig and Moncada displayed the chemistry the two have developed on Moncada’s second goal. With the ball on the far wing, Craig sent a beautiful cross into the box, which Moncada finished with a spectacular header into the back of the net.
The game slowed down in the second half for both Greenwood and Catholic. The Fightin’ Irish’s defense was holding strong for most of the game. Greenwood could not find the goal until the 77th minute on a penalty kick by junior Nick Hogan to finally put the Blue Jays on the scoreboard.
Loyd showed why he is the vocal leader on the field, the team was able to have some nice runs on offense, and they were able to make adjustments at halftime and play much better in the second half.
Catholic added two goals in the second half to expand upon their lead. Junior Reilly Harbach scored on a free kick in the 59th minute, and Moncada scored in the 61st minute.
The Fightin’ Irish once again proved why they will once again be a force to reckon with this season on the soccer field. Catholic will be in the Parkview Tournament Friday, while Greenwood will take on Aurora Monday.