Jesuit Dallas Soccer Wins UIL 6A State Championship

Originally posted to jesuitrangers.org

A go-ahead goal by junior Christian Lerma in the 89th minute, first half tally by senior Tommy Flaim, and another incredible performance by senior goalkeeper and tournament Most Valuable Player Luke Ostrander propelled Jesuit Dallas to its second University Interscholastic League (UIL) 6A State Championship, 2-1, over top-ranked Arlington Sam Houston on Saturday night at Birkelbach Field in Georgetown, Texas.

Jesuit Dallas (22-3-1) captured its first title since 2010, and secured the program’s 19th state title between championships earned in the TCIL and UIL. The Rangers withstood an inspired attack from Sam Houston (22-3-2), who entered the state tournament ranked first in Texas and fifth in the nation according to TopDrawerSoccer.

The Texans attempted 21 shots, had five corner kicks and 17 free kicks from Jesuit fouls. However, Ostrander and the Rangers would not be denied, allowing their lone goal on a free kick which deflected off a member of the Jesuit wall and into the net in the 58th minute.

Flaim laced a shot from 33-yards out after an early first half foul, a low liner that skipped off the turf inside the box and snuck past the hand of Sam Houston’s goalkeeper for the game-opening tally. Sam Houston’s first two quality chances came moments later, the first a shot in the 15th minute from the near side penalty area to the far post, necessitating a diving stop by Ostrander. One minute later, Sam Houston’s Nate Kopetsky got past the Jesuit defense and sent a shot that got past Ostrander, but was saved off the far post to keep the game scoreless.

Sam Houston controlled the first half pace, taking six shots, including three on target and three corner kicks, but were unable to find the back of the net. Burciaga nearly put the Rangers up by two goals in the ninth minute, sending a close-range shot over the crossbar, but Jesuit was able to withstand a late bevy by the Texans.

In the second half, the play slowed after Sam Houston’s equalizer until Jesuit began to ramp up the pressure late in regulation. Lerma had an open look at the goal from 15 yards out, but pushed the ball just wide of the net.

Junior John Koshakji had perhaps Jesuit’s best look of the game with under five minutes remaining, deflecting a header that seemed destined for twine, but was deflected out by the far post. The two teams went into overtime tied, 1-1, and Jesuit responded with a strong first overtime period that ultimately resulted in the game-winning goal.

Senior Chase Burciaga took a corner kick from the far side in the 89th minute, a ball that found junior Israel Ollarzabal just inside the eight-yard box. Ollarzabal’s header glanced off the upper right corner of the goal, floated through the air, and landed at the feet of Lerma, who put away the point-blank shot for the lead. Sam Houston’s final quality attempt came with a close-range free kick midway through the second overtime that sailed over the crossbar.