MECHANICSBURG, Pa. – It takes a special team to do what Cathedral Prep boys’ soccer did Saturday night.
Yeah, yeah, I know you are saying no kidding Chris, they just won the state title. That is obviously special.
But that is not what I am talking about.
What I am talking about is how they did it.
How the Ramblers looked adversity right in the face multiple times during their championship run and threw adversity right out the back door.
In the opening against Montour, Cathedral Prep trailed 1-0 with under four minutes to go before Luke Trocki tied the game with three minutes left and Noah Handzel won it in overtime.
Then, in the semifinals against defending champion Hershey, Handzel came through again in double overtime this time to send Cathedral Prep to the championship game.
And that brings us to Saturday night when the Ramblers trailed twice, including 2-1 with under four minutes to play, only to tie the game on a James DiSanza goal and win it on a Dylan Danch tally five minutes into overtime.
“It all goes back just to the character of the kids,” Cathedral Prep head coach Sam Tojaga said.
Believing played a large role in why the adversity never seemed to affect the Ramblers.
“We knew right from the start in the summer that it was going to be a special team, a special year for us,” DiSanza said. “We knew we had faith in our whole team.”
The hero, Danch, said being in positions of adversity during the season helped when it counted the most.
“I know this team is a comeback team,” Danch said. “We have been down many times in the season. Once we were down 2-1 (in the title game) we knew we couldn’t give up, and we put the second one in and it was history from there.”
Handzel, the star, pointed to the chemistry as a big reason why nothing fazed Cathedral Prep.
“Our chemistry and how special we are as a group,” Handzel said. “Weh have been in this position already. We were down 1-0 with two minutes to play in the opening playoff game and we made a play and I scored in overtime. We knew the (title) game wasn’t over. There were five minutes left, and we had another guy make a big play for us, and once we got that goal it was our destiny. We were winning this.”
A density that will forever live in Cathedral Prep history.
“This is definitely going to be a memory I cam going to live with my whole life,” Danch said.