It might not have been the shot heard ’round the world, but Jordan Miller’s goal four minutes into overtime certainly reverberated around the Archdiocesan Athletic Association Large Division.
Borgia (8-2, 5-1) shocked St. Dominic (14-4, 6-1) Tuesday in O’Fallon, 1-0.
The victory, as well as a 2-0 win over Bishop DuBourg Thursday, puts the Knights into position to potentially win the Large Division title.
Borgia still has two division games remaining against St. Mary’s (3-12, 1-4) and Duchesne (9-9-1, 2-3). The Knights will host St. Mary’s next Wednesday at 5 p.m. The Knights will visit Duchesne Saturday, Oct. 20, to make up a postponed game. Junior varsity action will begin at 10 a.m.
Should there be a tie at the top after all league games have been completed, tied teams will be declared co-champions.
Borgia has another huge game on the schedule Saturday at Washington. Junior varsity action begins at 10 a.m. with the varsity game set to begin around noon.
“We play a derby on Saturday with Washington,” Borgia Head Coach Grant Kang said. “They are very strong this year, and this game will be a difficult test for us.”
“We had scored a goal during regulation, but then were extremely surprised when that goal was disallowed by the official,” Kang said. “Later in the game, Zac Schweissguth was chopped down from behind by two players as he was dribbling in the penalty box, but the officials then did not award a penalty kick. Despite these setbacks, we maintained our focus.”
In overtime, the Knights earned a corner kick. Aaron Piontek passed to Miller, who scored Borgia’s biggest goal in some time to end the game.
“In the overtime period, off of a corner kick, we took several shots that kept rebounding off of defenders,” said Kang. “Then, Aaron Piontek got the loose ball and played it to Jordan Miller who struck a rocket into the back of the net so hard that the goalkeeper could not even put his hands out until the ball was already past.”
The goal gave Borgia a landmark 1-0 victory at St. Dominic, the first time in years that the Knights have beaten the Crusaders.
Kang said St. Dominic also had good chances to score.
“St. Dominic also had their chances, and had two of their shots clink off of the post,” Kang said. “We defended very hard. Jack Hellebusch was on the goal line and blocked a shot by heading the ball out. Joe Scheuler made a number of one-on-one saves.”
Scheuler recorded the shutout in goal for the Knights, making eight saves.
Borgia also won battles in the midfield and on defense.
“Kevin Birk won more than 12 one-on-one battles, and Andrew Beckerman threw himself in front of a few shots that he was able to block,” Kang said.
It marked the first league loss for St. Dominic, which won the road game at Borgia earlier in the season, 3-1.
“After the first St. Dominic game, we changed our tactical approach to our games, and we worked much harder on the quality and duration of our possession,” Kang said. “Despite the score of the first game, we realized that we could still match up with them athletically and technically.”
Miller also scored in that game, foreshadowing the goal in the second meeting.
Playing at Bishop DuBourg Thursday, the Knights kept the Cavaliers winless on the season with a 2-0 victory.
“The team had a difficult time getting started,” Kang said. “Our bench proved to be the difference just like in the St. Dominic game. Because our starters were tired, our bench ended up playing the majority of the first half in the DuBourg game and put in a very competitive performance. The playing surface gave us problems, and this forced us to play the ball in the air more than on the ground. So, rather than playing our normal possession style, we had to win by work rate and by scrapping for the ball.”
Borgia got two goals in the second half with Miller and Adam Meyer hitting the net.
Alex Blechle and Jake Erwin assisted on the goals.
Kelly Mauntel earned the shutout in goal, making five saves in the victory.
“Just like the St. Dominic game, it was a team win because our bench played a key role and stepped up in a magnificent way when called upon,” Kang said. “In the second half, the starters picked up and continued the work rate and scrappy play from the first half. This effort was rewarded by two goals in the second half.”