Soccer clash goes to No. 1 Jesuit over No. 9 Granite Bay
The score read as a loss, but Granite Bay’s boys varsity soccer team and hundreds of fans left Capital Christian High School on Friday night with their heads high.
Jesuit claimed a 3-2 win in the 75th minute on its second penalty kick. Through three yellow cards, two red cards and a crowd size to rival any area football game, the Grizzlies battled.
The Sept. 6 National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll ranked Jesuit No. 1 and Granite Bay No. 9. They were the only California teams in the poll.
Jesuit (7-0) and Granite Bay (6-1) are the reigning Sac-Joaquin Section Divisions I and II champions but hadn’t played each other in four years. The Grizzlies won 2-1 in 2007, and the long-awaited reunion wasn’t without its drama.
A rebound goal in the 11th minute by Granite Bay junior defender Daniel Sedin was waved due to an offside call between Sedin and the goalkeeper.
It arguably set the tone for the next 70 minutes.
Granite Bay senior captain Will Harkin attempted a slide tackle, which earned Jesuit its first penalty kick and a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute. The Marauders scored again on a one-hop cross and finish in the 42nd minute.
The Grizzlies then scored both goals within 10 minutes of one another, thanks to their senior co-captains.
In the 60th minute, Tanner Thompson found Harkin streaking to the far post, and Harkin finished a strong header into the back netting.
“I was so emotionally drained at that point, and I wasn’t even excited just because I knew we still had a lot longer to go,” Harkin said.
Ty Thompson finished a left-footed strike into the far post side netting in the 72nd minute and equalized the score at 2 to an explosive crowd.
“As soon as we got that goal, I knew we had a chance,” Thompson said. “We got kind of unlucky, but it’s just water off of a duck’s back.”
Jesuit earned the defining goal and a red card near the 75th minute.
Granite Bay defender Noah Tooley received a red card in the 81st minute, and 3½ minutes of stoppage time wasn’t enough for another Grizzlies comeback.
“If the number one team needs two PK’s and a goal called back to just barely beat us, I think that says a lot for us,” Granite Bay coach Steve Fischer said. “It was a battle between two warrior teams, and at the end of the game, I think everyone knew that.”
Granite Bay concludes preseason play against Oak Ridge, Vista del Lago and another powerhouse in Davis.
Sierra Foothill League play begins Sept. 23 against Nevada Union at Granite Bay.