Gonzaga soccer tops Archbishop Carroll to begin 2022 soccer season

August 27, 2022


With the roars of cheers surrounding him, Gonzaga huge receiver Brendan Lee caught the opening kickoff close to the 15-yard line Friday evening. The senior ran to his left, and when he crossed midfield, solely the house turf separated him from the top zone.

After scoring 15 seconds into the season opener, Lee sprinted to the sideline and chest-bumped Gonzaga college students, who may hardly comprise their pleasure earlier than the sport began and now had been downright bonkers.

The latest reminiscence for Gonzaga, coming off its worst season in over a decade, was shedding 4 of its remaining 5 video games. Lee set a brand new tone to begin this fall. The No. 8 Eagles, within the first recreation of the season for each groups, by no means let up of their 37-14 win over No. 11 Archbishop Carroll in Northwest Washington.

“It’s a sense like nothing on the planet,” Lee mentioned. “Once you’re taking part in, you type of black out. You then notice what occurred after.”

Friday’s matchup featured a historical past that extends a long time. Carroll received 13 Washington Catholic Athletic Convention titles — nonetheless the second most in league historical past — between 1960 and 1988 beneath Coach Maurice “Maus” Collins. After retiring, Collins started teaching Gonzaga in 1991 and constructed the Eagles right into a powerhouse.

When 1991 Carroll graduate Robert Harris returned because the Lions’ coach in 2015, he struggled to just accept a brand new actuality. Gonzaga has developed into one of many D.C. space’s elite groups; Carroll is within the WCAC’s second division. In Gonzaga’s earlier seven wins over Carroll previously decade, the Eagles received by a minimum of three touchdowns.

Carroll and Gonzaga scrimmaged the previous two seasons, however this fall each groups had an open slot to start the yr. Carroll was coming off its greatest marketing campaign in current historical past, ending 13-1 and with a D.C. State Athletic Affiliation championship. On the identical time, Gonzaga had simply suffered its first shedding season since 2008 after the commencement of quarterback Caleb Williams, now Southern Cal’s starter.

Gonzaga proved the hole between the groups stays massive. The Eagles led 25-0 at halftime Friday.

“I couldn’t be happier with how we performed,” offensive lineman Evan Hyperlink mentioned. “The environment on this place is superb. It’s a distinct feeling.”

The play that started Gonzaga’s spurt was within the works all week. Gonzaga coaches pinpointed the left aspect of the sector as Carroll’s weak point on kickoffs. Earlier than the kick, Lee advised his teammates the Eagles would return it for a landing. Lee all the time has been quick, however he enhanced his pace within the offseason, hoping to maneuver previous final season’s disappointment.

Lee later caught a 19-yard landing go within the fourth quarter to clinch the win, permitting Gonzaga gamers to have a good time joyously with their followers for the primary time since final October.

“We’re able to preserve doing it,” Lee mentioned. “We’re assured. We’re excited to play the remainder of our schedule.”

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