By Connor Leibforth ’20

In sports, scores don’t always best reflect the game. The 2019 Christian Brothers Cup is a great example of this.

The Christian Brothers Cup is a classic rivalry between the Brother Rice Crusaders and St. Laurence Vikings soccer teams. After losing the cup last year 2-0, the Crusaders were hungry to get it back.

Unfortunately, the game did not go as planned when the Vikings opened up the game aggressively and scored within the first minute of the game. The Crusaders knew they were playing a quality opponent, but were taken aback with the early score by the Viking’s midfielder.

The Crusaders knew they had to dig deep and stay focused to compete in this game. But when an unlucky bounce turns into a handball against the Crusaders inside their own box, it seems like the hole the Crusaders are digging just keeps getting deeper. The Vikings took advantage of the situation and scored on the easy penalty kick.

Another two goals later by the Vikings put the nails in the coffin. The only glimpse of hope came when senior striker Jack Finnegan put away a penalty kick nearing the end of the first half.

Despite a 4-1 deficit heading into halftime, the Crusaders remained determined to put forth their best performance.

Coach Matt Prunckle gathered up the Crusaders to help correct the team’s sloppy mistakes. With a fiery speech, Prunckle rallied up the team for the second half.

The Crusaders showed up looking like a new team and didn’t let up a single goal. Jack Finnegan said, “I thought we played with more heart in the second half. We had pride and showed that if we put our minds to it, we can prevent goals from being scored.”

The 4-1 loss for the Crusaders is not the important part of the story. The most important thing is the knowledge and skill that the Crusaders can take away from this game. As Coach Prunckle says, “It is not a loss if we learn from it.”

The Crusaders have now moved on from this game and are focused on finishing out the season one game at a time.