Cards resist Jeeps’ push for first title

Ariana van den Akker/The Herald
Northeast Dubois junior Isaac Tuell tried to push the ball past Washington Catholic’s Zach Taylor during Saturday’s Class 1A boys soccer sectional championship at Dubois. Held scoreless in the first half, the Jeeps picked up a goal from Drew Jacob in the second half but still absorbed a 2-1 loss that foiled their bid for the program’s first sectional title.

From Herald Staff Reports

The common word before Saturday’s Class 1A boys sectional championship between Northeast Dubois and Washington Catholic was “history” — as in, if the Jeeps were to win, it would be the boys soccer team’s first sectional championship in program history.

History will have to wait at least one more year.

Northeast Dubois couldn’t overcome an early deficit and fell just short in a 2-1 loss to the 13th-ranked Cardinals in Dubois.

Jeep coach Clive Williams said nerves may have affected the Jeeps (8-6-1), who came out slowly and quickly fell behind 2-0 after two Cardinal scores by Blaine Fuhs in the first 10 minutes. But after finally settling down, a Jeep squad featuring only one senior shut out Washington Catholic (13-5-1) for the remainder of the game and, after nearly scoring on two chances late in the first half, finally connected at the 34-minute mark of the second half when Drew Jacob buried a pass from Isaac Tuell.

The Jeeps could not capitalize on another late attempt and were plagued again by a problem Williams said Northeast Dubois has been trying to fix all season.

“Attackingwise, it was just finishing all season,” Williams said. “That’s something we are going to work on and make sure we get right.

“Most of them knew it was a game we could have or should have won given the chances, but at the end of the day we didn’t do something we’ve found difficult this year and that’s putting the ball in the back of the net.”

Northeast Dubois still found comfort in a loss that demonstrated the improvement of the team this season. In their August showdown against Washington Catholic, the Jeeps lost 7-2. Two months later, to lose to a ranked team by just one goal, and to have opportunities to win — especially considering the Jeeps can bet on having to beat the Cardinals if they want to win a sectional in the future — is a good sign for a team that returns 10 of its 11 starters.

“I told them I was really proud of them,” Williams said. “”˜Just think of the difference between now and how we played (in the beginning of the season) in terms of skill and determination and all the things I like about Dubois and the Jeeps. They’re still a work in progress.

“We were that close,” he added. “It was the closest we’ve come to actually beating them. We dominated the second (half), it’s just the finishing. ... We just got to make sure next we know what we can do given this year’s success.”

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