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O'Dea vs. EC - Private School State Championship Recap

The Crusaders came back to Starfire and walked away with the trophy after trampling their conference rivals the O’Dea Fighting Irish in a 18-2 contest on Saturday afternoon.

Eastside Catholic beat their opponent on every inch of the field from face-offs, shots on goal and even ground balls. O’Dea did not help their cause any as they drew 10 penalties including an ejection of junior midfielder Kyle Martinez late in the third quarter. They totaled over 10 minutes of penalty time as they watched their championship chance fly away.

The Crusader furious four came out swinging hard with senior attackman Ryan Grazko (55g, 17a), sophomore attackman Eric Prologo (71g, 15a), junior midfielder Joey Matte (44g, 18a) and junior midfielder Jack Sercu (34g, 52a) combining for 15 goals in this game. These four averaged 12 goals out of the 17 games they played this year, including playoffs.

This was a disappointing game for O’Dea as this team has proven to be much better than the performance they showed in this match. It’s a mystery as to what was going on with this O’Dea team but speculation begs the question, were they too nervous with the big stage and outstanding reputation the Crusader’s have?

One thing is certain about this match is head coach Charles Goodman’s expectations for his players in this game.

“We fully expected them to play at the top of their ability and we knew we were going to come away with a strong win.” Goodman said. “O’Dea is an outstanding program and we knew that it wasn’t going to be easy but when we play to our top, we execute at that level.”

The Crusader’s were here last year and lost a heartbreaker to Bellevue in a game where they held the lead in the final minutes. It’s fully expected that they were hungry to get back here and refused to go home empty handed. Goodman was not shy to express what this victory means to him and his team.

“The whole world to us.” Goodman said. “This is our trophy, this is our division and we wanted to win it from day one. It was never a question that we wanted this so here we are.”

In the end, the team that wanted it the most gets to kiss the cup, and they did, many times.

Story by Michael Thornbloom