Jesuit Soccer #1 in Nation

Benn Hodapp

Jesuit soccer was ranked the number one team in the nation this past fall by MaxPreps. Shown here is the MaxPreps Tour of Champions presented by the National Guard. / Courtesy photo

Jesuit soccer was ranked the number one team in the nation this past fall by MaxPreps. Shown here is the MaxPreps Tour of Champions presented by the National Guard. / Courtesy photo

Year in and year out the varsity soccer team at Carmichael’s Jesuit High School is top notch. Some are absolutely dominant, others are just really good. The 2012 version fell into the former category. The Marauders finished the season a ridiculous 27-1-1 and were named the top high school boys soccer team in the nation by MaxPreps, which is essentially the go-to place for everything high school sports.

For securing the nation’s top rank, Jesuit was host to the Army National Guard and MaxPreps founder Andy Beal at Jesuit’s spring sports rally on March 1.

“(The presentation) was pretty cool,” said Jesuit Athletic Director Chris Fahey. “It was the first time that a school in our region was awarded by MaxPreps.”

Along with the recognition of being number one, Jesuit was presented with a banner that will soon adorn the gymnasium as well as a trophy in the shape of a minuteman. More than 14,000 high schools put boys’ and girls’ teams on soccer fields across the country, but only 20 teams (10 boys and 10 girls) will be honored by MaxPreps as part of its Soccer Tour of Champions.

While the 2012 team from Jesuit had all the skill needed to dominate, everyone associated with the team spoke to how tight the guys were as a team.

“They were truly a team. They had a few (college) scholarship players, but the entire team was selfless. They were willing to sacrifice,” said Fahey.

After an early-season 2-0 loss (ironically to Jesuit High School of Portland, OR), the team had a meeting where the players came together and vowed to play better from then on. It must have worked, seeing as how the Marauders won 20 straight games following the meeting.

Jesuit Head Coach Paul Rose was excited about the presentation at the school. First and foremost he saw it as recognition of the effort put in by his players.

“You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t work hard you won’t get it done in the end,” Rose said. “It didn’t matter who on our team scored; it just mattered that we scored and the other team didn’t,” he laughed.

Scoring while not allowing the opposing team to score was something that Jesuit did exceptionally well in 2012. The team allowed just eight balls to cross the line in 29 contests. Jesuit held its opponent scoreless in 23 of those games.

Jesuit was the top-ranked team in MaxPreps’ 2011 soccer standings as well, but it was not one of the six schools recognized during the Tour of Champions. In its second year of inclusion on the tour, soccer has gone from six teams recognized in 2011 to 20 in 2012. The MaxPreps website reads that the teams included on the tour “aren’t just good… or great. They are relentless, tenacious and unstoppable.”

With 82 wins, three losses and five ties over the last three seasons, this may be just the first of many visits to Carmichael for MaxPreps and the Army National Guard.

“It brought a smile to everyone’s face when we won (the award),” Rose said. “We’re glad we could bring it back to our area.”

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