EAST MARLBOROUGH – The Ches-Mont boys’ soccer title chase that seemed like a forgone conclusion Monday afternoon suddenly isn’t so certain.
Unionville’s victory lap to the title was derailed, at least temporarily, Monday evening by a fearless and a little ticked-off Bishop Shanahan squad. Eagles’ sophomore Zane Domsohn scored the only goal of the match, and he did it in the final minute of regulation to shock the powerful Indians 1-0 on their home field on Senior Night.
“My first thought was that we just beat one of the top teams in the state, let’s go crazy,” Domsohn said.
“(Unionville) is one of the top teams in the state of Pennsylvania and we knew it was going to take a total team effort,” added Shanahan head coach Jim Kalavik.
The stunner vaulted the Eagles into the top echelon of the league standings (6-4, 10-5 overall) and moved them right back into major contention for the District 1 3A title chase just three days after a debilitating home loss to Radnor.
“We were upset losing to Radnor and we kind of took it out on Unionville,” explained goaltender Bryce Domsohn, Zane’s cousin.
“It was a bad loss and it moved us from first to fourth in the district (power rankings),” Zane added. “But tonight we came out and proved we can hang with one of the top teams in the state and beat them.”
The fourth ranked team in the state, it was Unionville’s first setback of the season. At 8-1-1 in the league (13-1-1 overall), the Indians are still the team to beat, but Downingtown East (5-0-4) can make it interesting.
“I know we brought Downingtown East back into it, and may be some others,” said Indians’ head coach Rich Garber. “We play them next Tuesday, and that will mean something now.
“Shanahan played hard. Give them credit – they out-played us.”
The Eagles were well prepared defensively for what the Indians wanted to do. And Shanahan was aggressive throughout, not concerned with making a mistake, but intent on keeping up the pressure.
“When we had time and space, we just kept giving the ball away,” Garber said. “Maybe it was (Shanahan’s) pressure or maybe it was that we weren’t as focused as we need to be.”
It probably didn’t help that Monday was the final regular season home game for an accomplished group of nine seniors, including star forward Michael Hewes, and defensive standouts Garrett Pinkston and goalie Alex Dolce. Sometimes it becomes a distraction.
“It may have been a factor,” Garber said. “We had an emotional win (over Spring-Ford) on Saturday and we needed to be refocused and regenerated and I think we were missing that a little bit.
“But it’s better to lose now than in a few weeks. We will think about this for a few days and then see how we respond against Conestoga. We will see what kind of team we really are.”
In a scoreless deadlock for 39-plus minutes, Zane Domsohn helped the Eagles avoid going to overtime when he got his foot on a loose ball for the game-winner with 36 seconds on the clock. It wasn’t a blast and it had to find its way through several bodies.
“Paul Zeigler’s shot was deflected and the ball came across the box and I just tapped it in,” Domsohn recalled. “It got past the keeper but one of (Unionville’s) defenders almost got to it. It was very close.”
A freshman, Zeigler was in the lineup because Shanahan’s leading scorer, Gavin Domsohn, was injured and played sparingly on Monday.
“We practice finishing every ball that goes in on frame every single day. It paid off for us,” Kalavik said.
“I was pretty far away but I saw the ball roll into the net and just started freaking out,” added Bryce Domsohn, who made 11 saves for the shutout.
Unionville only had a slight edge in shots on goal, but had an overwhelming 11-2 advantage in corner kicks. But the Eagles were near flawless defending the restarts.
“All season long we’ve been working on defending corners,” Kalavik said. “It hurt us early in the season and we knew that it was a strong point of (Unionville’s).”
Amazingly, it was Shanahan that had most of the quality scoring chances, even in the first half with a stiff wind at its face. Senior Michael Krause nearly gave the Eagles a first half goal, but Dolce came up with a spectacular kick save.
Sophomore Colin Deal delivered a well-placed shot from distance with 16:39 to go but Dolce came up with another dandy, laying-out to direct it wide. It set the stage for Zane Domsohn’s late winner.
“The last minute was insane. It’s a dream come true,” said Bryce Domsohn.
“We were coming off a tough home loss to Radnor,” Kalavik added. “We had to sleep on that over the whole weekend. But it was all heart (Monday).
“That’s Shanahan pride right there.”
Bishop Shanahan 1, Unionville 0
Bishop Shanahan 0 1 — 1
Unionville 0 0 — 0
- Shanahan goal: Z. Domsohn.
Unionville goals: none.
Goalie saves: B. Domsohn (BS) 11; Dolce (U) 8.
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