“It was gonna be important for multiple reasons anyway,” said Appels in regards to his team’s regular-season finale against Crespi on Monday taking on added importance. “This one’s disappointing because it was a big game, it’s always disappointing when you do poorly in a big game.”
With the loss, St. Francis (13-4-4, 7-2-2 in league, 16 points) still holds its spot in first place in league, but its positioning is a bit deceiving. Third-place Harvard-Westlake (5-1-4, 14 points) still has two games left, as its Friday match with Crespi (5-1-3, 13 points), which has three matches remaining, was postponed. Loyola (14-4-6, 6-1-3, 15 points) also has two matches left.
It marks a season sweep for the Cubs in the rivalry, as they won, 3-1, in the teams’ first meeting. The Golden Knights have relinquished just four goals in the rest of league play. In the first meeting, Loyola went up early, as well, forcing St. Francis to battle back from behind.
“I think the most disappointing thing is it looked a lot like the last game,” Appels said.
Realizing it couldn’t let Loyola get out to a fast start as it did in the previous encounter, St. Francis allowed the same thing to happen.
The Cubs went up 1-0 in the 10th minute when Nick Daegele headed in a ball that had pinballed around the box after a corner kick. Loyola went up 2-0 just 10 minutes later when St. Francis, once again, was unable to clear the box. This time, Mauricio Alfonso headed in a pass off a throw-in.
In the 25th minute, St. Francis finally countered, with Jake LaPorte letting loose on a laser of a free kick that was saved, but not corralled. David Rios sprinted into the picture and booted in a goal.
But with all the momentum that St. Francis had taken, it very quickly was lost as Alfonso scored on a seemingly impossible shot, blasting a free kick from roughly 50 yards away into the low left corner of the net. It came just two minutes after Rios’ goal.