Team co-captain Kane Barton ‘18 dribbles away from a Saint Augustine High School defender before passing to a teammate.

Photo by Heather Seipt

Team co-captain Kane Barton ‘18 dribbles away from a Saint Augustine High School defender before passing to a teammate.

In the world of school rivalries, the blood runs deep when it comes to Cathedral Catholic High School and Saint Augustine High School. Although the most popular sport to watch these two teams compete in is football, the teams took the soccer field Friday ready to give their all.

“This is one of the reasons why high school soccer is so valuable,” Head Coach Nate Hetherington said. “When an alumni comes back, they don’t ask how we’re doing in the season.

“They ask if we’ve beat Saints.”

The schools’ rivalry has existed since 1950s, and the division was still visible in the stands Friday, where CCHS and SAHS parents cheered from opposite sides of the bleachers as the teams posted a 1-1 tie on the SAHS campus, leaving the status of bragging rights between the two schools as yet-to-be-determined for the current season.

There was no clear underdog as the game began, and both teams have had similar seasons as far as stats, with CCHS at 5-2-2 and SAHS at 4-3-1.

In the first half of the game, SAHS took the field with high intensity, and early on forward Felix Calero got the ball at the top of 18-yard box, where he turned 180 degrees to escape CCHS defense and get a shot off, securing a goal for Saints.

CCHS goalkeeper Aidan Cerveny ‘19 came up with two huge saves as Saints created more opportunities out of the run of play.

“I think we came into this game strong and confident, and we all really wanted to beat Cathedral,” SAHS defender Michael Piancone ‘19 said.

SAHS dominated the first half with fast play, but after the Dons’ passionate half time talk by Assistant Coach and alumnus Frankie Sanfelipo, the team took the field excited to come back strong.

“During the halftime talk, we wanted to remind the young team what it means to play Saints, and fire them up for the second half,” Coach Sanfelipo said. “We changed a few things tactically that seemed to help dominate the midfield, and the boys definitely rose to the occasion.”

The second half was filled with multiple slide tackles and transitions due to Saints’ narrow field.

Co-captain Andrew Kleszewski ‘18 took advantage of his team’s high energy, receiving a long pass and scoring early in the second half.

Although both teams wanted to claim ultimate bragging rights, the game ended 1-1.

“I’m proud of the character shown by our players and if we performed like we did the second half from the start, I feel we would’ve come out on top,” Coach Hetherington said.  

SAHS also believes it should have won Friday, even looking forward to taking down its rivals in the future.

“I think Cathedral got lucky today, but hopefully we will come back even stronger and learn from our mistakes,” Piancone said.

The teams will face off again Jan. 31 at 6:30 p.m. at Manchester Stadium.

“We look forward to playing them at home, and we hope to see the student body supporting us up in the stands,” Coach Hetherington said.