It came down to penalty kicks, but the Washington Blue Jays claimed bragging rights in the annual Town Derby Friday evening.
The Blue Jays (10-7-1) defeated St. Francis Borgia Regional (8-7) on penalty kicks, 2-1.
“It truly a special win as these young boys pulled together for a signature win: scrappy, yet structured defense, collective mental focus, and enough possession to keep the game in the middle of the field,” Washington Head Coach Derek Schriewer said. “Some of our wins haven’t been the prettiest, but it’s a sign of a good team when you win close games.”
Borgia Head Coach Danny Strohmeyer felt his team created opportunities.
“We had chances, but could not put them in,” Strohmeyer said. “We did not look sharp, but we played hard. We had trouble breaking down Washington’s defense in the final third. We are looking forward to a possible district matchup.”
Each team scored in the first half.
Washington scored first. Michael Andrews was able to find room despite being closely marked by Borgia’s defense. He put one past Borgia’s Colton Lutz with 13:34 left in the opening half to make it 1-0. Lutz made three saves in the game.
Borgia tied it when Drew Holzem drilled a penalty kick past Ottmar Escalante with 2:53 remaining in the opening half.
“It was a very frustrating sequence of events, as I had literally yelled to my players to stop making fouls with about seven minutes remaining,” Schriewer said. “To give up a PK with just minutes before halftime can be detrimental to the team’s psychology, so at halftime I talked with Dana (Cates) and asked the team to move on. There was a calm focus at half as we knew we would have our chances going forward and that our defense was comfortable preventing Borgia’s attack. Our own mistake lead to their only goal.”
And that’s how it stayed through the rest of the half, regulation and two overtimes.
Borgia was able to hold possession for much of the first half, but Washington was able to find holes in the Borgia defense with Andrews fighting through the defenders.
However, Andrews wasn’t around for the game’s climax. He took a second yellow card in the first overtime and Washington played the rest of the way a player down.
Escalante kept the Blue Jays in the game with a huge save late in the second half to keep it at 1-1.
Washington came back to win in similar conditions over Harrisonville in last year’s Class 3 semifinals.
This time, it went to penalties.
Washington shot first. Trent Pabst, Liam Schneider and Noah Bay scored.
Borgia got goals from Holzem and Brendan Pagan.
Escalante made one diving save.
Travis Bieg scored to give the Blue Jays the win.
“The team rushed the field, celebrated with each other, shook hands of the opponents, then continued the tradition of singing the school song with the student section,” Schriewer said.
Schriewer hopes the win can help the Blue Jays surge to the top of the district seedings.
“We are hoping we can continue our good form going into this week against St. Clair, Ft. Zumwalt East and Timberland,” Schriewer said. “If we can find wins in those games, we can move into the game against Wentzville Liberty next week with a win streak as we hope for a crucial GAC victory. Unless some petty politics come into play, October wins versus district opponents Borgia and Liberty should be enough for the No. 1 seed as well. We are staying focused on this week, but that game is on our horizon and in the back of our minds.”