Cardinal Spellman was not going to relent after blowing a two-goal lead against rival Mount St. Michael.
Instead it weathered the storm and got a late goal from Geo Rodas to win its season opener 3-2 over visiting Mount in CHSAA Class A boys’ soccer on Monday. He scored on his own rebound after a penalty kick in the 75th minute.
“It was very, very exhilarating,” Rodas said. “There was a lot of pressure on us, but we fought through it. I’m proud of it.”
Oscar Uribe scored in the 21st minute for Spellman and Javier Carillo found the back of the net in the second half to make it 2-0. Mount refused to go quietly.
Mountaineer senior midfielder Hayale Smith led the comeback. He took advantage of mistakes by Spellman and scored in the 51st and 57th minute respectively.
“I thought we were playing really well. We had a couple of opportunities,” Mount head coach Michael Boyle said. “But we hung in there, we were hanging in there tough, and Spellman’s a great team.”
Despite being an underdog on the road, Mount was the team who set the pace. They controlled much of the possession throughout the game, even more so in the second half.
It looked like it was a matter of time before they would break the tie and pull off the huge upset. Smith had even more chances around the net after he scored the equalizer, but he just missed.
“Yeah, I really didn’t panic,” Spellman head coach Tom Cabrera said. “I just wanted to see how the guys would react to that. Mount was pushing it, very athletic, very physical and they like to run a lot. But I wanted to see how the guys might react and they kept their cool. I’m very proud for that.”
Spellman showed off its resilience. They drew a penalty kick late and it was the turning point of the match. Rodas took the shot and missed, but he got his own rebound and score to put the Pilots up for good.
Spellman was frustrated by their own costly mistakes, as poor communication and bad ball control allowed Mount to take advantage and get several scoring chances late in the second half.
“Those first two goals were mistakes by us,” Cabrera said. “We made the mistakes and they capitalized on them.”
Despite a loss that dropped them to 0-2 on the season, Mount remains confident in its ability to play against the rest of the league.
“We’re going to use this as a positive,” Boyle said. “We’re getting closer to our goals.”