DOWNINGTOWN – At Bishop Shanahan, you will often see siblings or cousins competing together on athletic teams, but the 2019 Eagles boys’ soccer squad really is a family affair.
Nearly a quarter of Shanahan’s roster includes sets of brothers or cousins, and at the head of the list is the Domsohn Trio. Senior Gavin is a co-captain, brother Bryce is sophomore and the No. 1 goalkeeper, and cousin Zane is a sophomore starting midfielder. And on Tuesday in a key Ches-Mont match against West Chester East, the Domsohns played a huge role in a 3-1 victory at Jack Mancini Stadium.
Gavin Domsohn notched his team-best sixth goal of the season to erase an early Vikings lead, Zane Domsohn later scored the game-winner, and Bryce Domsohn turned aside six shots in goal to secure the win.
“Here at Shanahan, families come through a lot of the programs,” said Eagles’ head coach Jim Kalavik. “I’ve had the good fortunate of coaching lots of brothers and cousins.
“Zane and Bryce started for us as freshmen last season, and Gavin’s been playing since his freshman year. They are a tight-knit family, and they show that on the field.”
Shanahan improves to 1-1 in the league and 4-1 overall. West Chester East falls to 1-1 and 2-1-2 overall.
“(Shanahan) is a very good team,” said Vikings’ head coach Charlie Dodds. “They have a lot of speed and we just got out-worked.
“It’s concerning because it’s the second time we’ve had that happen to us. At Marple Newtown, we were up 3-0 and let them back in the game and we ended up tying 3-3. We have some work ahead of us.”
Locked in a 1-1 stalemate at the half, the Eagles quickly took command with two goals in a frenzied 52-second span in the early going of the second half. Less than two minutes in, Zane Domsohn beat a defender to a pass from Sean Gingrich and directed it into the net.
“It was a good hustle play. He’s been busting it to get a goal and that was his first of the season,” Kalavik said.
“I’ve been in a slump the last four games and I wanted to get the first one, get it over with, and then keep going,” Zane Domsohn said.
And then before you knew it, Shanahan scored again, this time on a header from Gingrich off a pass from teammate Evan Cunningham.
“Evan had the ball in space, had his head up, he saw a teammate moving to the far-post and Gingrich was able to place it into the far panel,” Kalavik reported.
“We talked at halftime about our outside midfielders tracking back and we got caught sleeping on both of those goals,” Dodds complained.
It took a while for East to recover, but the Vikings did have a couple chances in the final quarter of action. Luke Albergo delivered a header off a throw-in that was corralled by Bryce Domsohn, and then Driss Benslimane hit the near post on a bending blast in the final minute of play.
“We had our chances and we didn’t finish,” Dodds said. “(Shanahan) had chances and they finished. That’s soccer.”
Shanahan actually had a pair of prime scoring chances in the opening three and a half minutes of the first half, including a point-blank shot by sophomore Jaden Jones that bounced off the cross bar. But East struck first midway through the opening half when Tyler Grenell’s header found the back of the net off a corner kick by teammate Owen Van Dyke.
About five minutes later, however, the Eagles knotted it at 1-1 by taking advantage of a turnover, and Gavin Domsohn turned it into a goal from about 20 yards that found the top far corner.
“We have a tenacity to come back and face adversity,” Gavin Domsohn said.
“These guys didn’t like falling behind 1-0,” Kalavik added. “With their backs against the wall, they are going to forward full-force. And Gavin has a knack for turning on the ball and knowing where the goal-mouth is.”
Vikings’ goaltender Johnny Regester amassed eight saves on the evening, including several diving plays. He kept it close much of the way.
“Johnny’s a sophomore, he’s worked really hard, and he’s carried us,” Dodds said. “He’s got a real big upside if he keeps working as hard as he has.”
As for playing with close family members, the Domsohn’s seem to understand that the situation is special, and not an everyday occurrence for most teams.
“It’s amazing getting to play soccer with my brother and my cousin,” Gavin said.
“It is so much fun,” Zane added. “I’ve played with Bryce all my life. We are the same age. And I’ve played with Gavin for several years now.
“I know what Gavin is going to do every time because we’ve played together so much.”
Bishop Shanahan 3, West Chester East 1
W.C. East 1 0 — 1
Bishop Shanahan 1 2 — 3
W.C. East goals: Grenell.
Bishop Shanahan goals: G. Domsohn, Z. Domsohn, Gingrich.
Goalie saves: Regester (WCE) 8; B. Domsehn (BS) 6.
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