The DeMatha Catholic High School boys’ soccer team erased the bitter memories of last year’s penalty-kick loss to rival Gonzaga in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship game with a 1-0 win over the Eagles in Saturday’s title match held at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds.
The win also avenged DeMatha’s (15-4) 3-2 regular-season loss to Gonzaga (9-5-3).
“We’ve been looking forward to a rematch since last year and this year’s loss,” said Arion Assue, who scored the game’s only goal. “We knew we were going to have to work hard for revenge. It’s a rivalry, it’s always a tough game.”
Given the history of competitive games between the two adversaries, it’s no surprise Saturday’s contest was a one-goal decision. That’s why Assue knew when the Stags were awarded a direct kick just outside the top of the penalty box in the seventh minute, that he needed to take advantage. The senior leading scorer did just that, hammering a 25-yard shot into the back of the net for his 20th goal of 2013.
“I knew that if we got any chance, any free kick around the box, we were going to have to take our chance and I took my chance,” Assue said.
Though Gonzaga created a few dangerous chances in the offensive third, especially as the game neared the end of regulation, it was DeMatha dictating play for the majority of Saturday’s contest with its quick passing combinations and counterattacking.
“We love playing off each other,” Assue said. “Most of our players were in the championship game last year and we came together as a family so we could win the championship we couldn’t win for the seniors last year.”