CHICAGO, ILL. - The Shattuck-St. Mary’s Boys Soccer Center of Excellence started their season off strong this past weekend as they began United States Soccer Development Academy play in Chicago, Ill. against FC United on Saturday.
Kicking off at just before noon, the U16 team took off to a quick start with a goal within the first four minutes from Bishop Bosland ‘21, assisted by Alvaro Jacinto ‘21. Seven minutes later, Ricky Ybarra ‘21 found Bosland for his second of the game to give the Sabres a 2-0 lead. SSM was back on the board a short 12 minutes later as Matthew Roou ‘21 setup Donovan Boone ‘21 to put the Sabres up 3-0. This would be the score heading into halftime, but out of the break the opponent came out on the front foot, scoring two goals in quick succession at the 54th and 56th minute. While SSM staggered just a bit, the team soon settled in and saw out the game with Carson Kelly ‘22 netting the fourth and final goal of the 4-2 victory.
The U15 team was next on the pitch for the first DA game for many of the newest SSM players. The game started with the home team dictating play and 17 minutes in, the Sabres conceded. However, the goal did little to phase the young battlers and the focus on soccer continued. This focus proved valuable as the team came out for the second half. Ten minutes into the half, Tyler Schommer ‘23 knotted the game at one, but SSM wasn’t satisfied there and 11 minutes later, Schommer hit for his second of the game. This 2-1 score would hold (even while down a man) as the Sabres fought for the win with Noah Sutherland ‘22 coming up with big saves and player after player coming up with blocked shots.
The heat of the day nor the heat of the turf could impact the level of anticipation and energy that many of the senior Sabres brought to the pitch in the U19 game. While it was the first game of the year for SSM, it was the second league game for the opponent with FC United coming off a win the week prior. No matter, SSM was determined to demonstrate the work they had put in during the preseason and the work paid off. After going down 1-0 at the 60th minute, the Sabres continued to battle with Jordan Wells ‘19 in goal making big plays to keep the deficit at one. The work continued until the very last moment of the game when Deryk Jones ‘20 drew a foul inside the penalty box after hard work by Quin Frazier ‘19 led to the ball at Jones’ feet and a FC United player committing the error that led to the late game dramatics. Senior Connor Bates ‘19 stepped up to take the penalty and scored to take the point in the 1-1 tie on the road.
The energy of the day built and the U17 team took to the pitch eager to get the final game of the day underway. Both teams started fairly well, but the Sabres did well at protecting goalkeeper Mitch Budler ‘21 and slowly started to turn the game in their favor. The passing became better and at the 39th minute, center back Diego Ochoa ‘20 found Nehemias Rubio ‘20 in behind the FC United defense and Rubio strongly and calmly slotted the ball past the keeper to go into the half 1-0. As the team came out of the break, the play stayed strong, but a misplay at midfield in the 54th minute led to a tactical foul that sent a SSM player off. Four minutes later, Erick Villatoro ‘20 was fouled hard. The response from the Sabres was one of renewed energy and effort to fight for each other. Excellent work by Budler and those in front of him saw the game end in a 1-0 victory for the Sabres.