By Martin Murray ‘20

Losing is rough. Losing consistently is even worse.

But God loves a tryer; just ask the Brother Rice soccer team.

The team defeated Marmion Academy 3-1 on Sept. 17 at Coach Tom Mitchell Field. The game was a monumental step for the program.

Junior Brian Barsch sunk the game-winning goal and was ecstatic afterward. Barsch said,” For me personally, the goal really boosted my confidence in front of the net and broke my goal drought, and I hope to be able to find the back of the net more this season.”

This was the team’s first conference win in three years. And it’s only the beginning.

“Getting our first conference win in three years sent a jolt of electricity through our team. You can feel the intensity and focus every day now,” said senior Dan Golon. This win has given the team new life and has put them in a position to not only compete, but thrive in the conference.

This is only the latest accomplishment in the soccer program’s revival under Coach Matt Prunckle. The win has given the team the extra push necessary to form a solid squad that could perform wonders in crunch time.

However, their success stems from strong bonds fostered during the summer.

Senior Jordan Harris said,“ The team has meshed together really well from when we started back in July.”

Harris, who is also a captain, vividly remembers the opening days of the season. He said,“ At first, it was like we were two different teams with the players that were on varsity last year and the players that were on JV, but I feel Coach Prunckle and players like Matt Rodgers helped close that gap.”

The Crusaders have fought for everything they’ve earned, and they are excited to witness how their hard work of today will help pave the path for the remainder of the season and future kicking Crusaders.

Senior Henry Barsch, Brian Barsch’s older brother, has lofty goals for the Crusaders during the rest of the season. “My hope for this season is a 12-win season. It is very ambitious, but I think we can come pretty close. I would like to compete for a CCL Blue title, going at least .500 in conference play.”

Barsch also had a simple request for the program going forward. “For the future, I’d like to see a return to old Rice form, where we win super sectionals every couple years and consistently win the Blue.”

The Brother Rice soccer team is growing support everyday, and many students are cheering the Crusaders on every step of the way.

The team continues to play at Tom Mitchell Field on Sept. 24 against Catholic League opponent Fenwick High School. Good luck to the Crusaders in this tough challenge.