After beating Forest Lake in the first round of playoffs, the Cavs were faced with their next contender, the Trinity Prep Crusaders from Napa. This Nov. 11 semifinal playoff game marked the first time the teams have met.
The Cavs were confident that they could beat their unfamiliar opponent. Beating the Crusaders, 4-1, they showed their confidence throughout the entire game.
Not only did they put on a dominating performance, they advanced to the San Joaquin Section Championship with this win.
“I expected us to win once we started warmups,” freshman Nate Jakobs said. “We felt really good and ready to win.”
The Cavs came out strong, taking early field position. They passed the ball around freely through the Crusaders’ defense and created open opportunities.
After a series of passes, the ball found its way to Jakobs, standing 25 yards out of the goal. Jakobs fired and scored an absolute banger, getting the Cavs pumped and putting them up, 1-0.
The Cavs went right back to applying pressure to the Crusaders’ side. Sophomore B.J. Askew received a pass from sophomore Jayce McCain. Askew dismantled the Crusaders’ defense resulting in an easy goal, putting the Cavs up, 2-0.
But Askew wasn’t done. Seeing a lapse in the defense, he streaked downfield and received a pass from sophomore Theo Kaufman. Askew pinned the ball into the back of the net, presumably putting the Cavs up, 3-0. But the sideline referee called offsides, overturning what would have been Askew’s second goal.
After back and forth trading, the ball was kicked out of bounds on the Crusaders’ side and Jakobs took the throw-in. Jakobs launched the ball towards the goal, and it bounced off a defender guarding Askew. The ball miraculously bounced past the goalie into the goal, giving Jakobs his second goal and increasing the Cavs’ lead to 3-0.
After their stellar first half, the Cavs were able to go into the second with confidence. But they couldn’t be caught slipping.
The Crusaders came out with aggression and forced the ball onto the Cavs’ side. About five minutes into the half, the Crusaders were in scoring position and had a shot on goal inside the box.
If it weren’t for a miraculous save by senior goalie Brad Petchauer, the Crusaders would have narrowed the Cavs’ lead.
After regaining their composure, the Cavs shoved down field, and Askew found himself in scoring position again after a cleanly placed through ball from Kaufman. Askew perfectly placed the ball in the corner of the goal and finished the shot with his left foot, giving the Cavs a 4-0 lead.
In a last-ditch effort to get back into the game, the Crusaders tried to shove down field in scoring position. The ball came inside the corner of the box, and in the chaos, Petchauer left the goal open. The ball was recovered by the Crusaders, who immediately attacked the open goal.
Junior Aidan Cunningham and Petchauer both tried to retreat to the goal but missed the ball by inches, reducing the Cavs’ lead to 4-1.
The game ended shortly after, securing the Cavs’ spot in the championship game.
McCain, who is returning to his second consecutive section championship after falling short last year, had only one thing to say about the upcoming championship game:
“Well we got a really big team, and we need some really big rings.”
The Cavs will need support on Saturday, Nov. 14, when they play Sacramento Waldorf, if they want to claim their championship rings. The noon game will be at Cosumnes Oaks High School in Elk Grove.
—By Jake Longoria