Collegiate and St. Xavier the two well-known rivals and mighty opponents have made it through to the final of the Seventh Region Tournament gauntlet. They will have another encounter all over again in the final on Saturday at the ground of Eastern High School.
Collegiate, currently the No. The 2-ranked team handed Ballard, No. 4- ranked team a comprehensive defeat in their semi-final clash when they pumped two clear goals on either side of the break.
On the other hand, St. Xavier, the No. 3- ranked team completely annihilated their opponent, Manual with an 8-0 thumping on Thursday night.
These two teams will again meet in the final after their encounter last week in the 26th District Tournament championship where Collegiate bounced back from behind to clinch a victory over St. Xavier by a 4-3 margin on penalty kicks.
According to Chad Wozniak, the Collegiate coach, “This is a ruthless region, and it is extremely difficult. But we are focusing completely on the final and we are confident. At this moment we are playing at our best and we will be prepared for every challenge on Saturday.
In this region, you have to go through an intense stretch,”– Wozniak further added.
In the Semifinal clash with Ballard, Six to Abraham of Collegiate was fouled inside the penalty box with 9:28 remaining in the first half. Abraham converted it by slotting the ball into the right corner of the net.
With 27 minutes remaining in the 2nd half, Hunter Sekelsky gave Collegiate the all-important second goal and Collegiate got the comfortable cushion of two goals. His left-footed drive found the right corner of the goal.
Ballard could not recover and their coach Mark Benitez admitted that his team appeared exhausted following the intense match with the top-ranked Trinity on Tuesday night where Ballard handed the top team a 3-2 shock defeat.
We, unfortunately, did not have a lot still left in our tank just after an extensive game we had the other night,”- Benitez told the reporters.
In the second semifinal, Manual failed to put up any sort of resistance against St. Xavier after conceding the first goal in 30 seconds of the match. They never recovered after that setback and were completely humbled by Xavier. The Xavier was leading 3-0 at the halftime and pumped in 5 more in the second.