- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Down one goal, down two goals and then down eventually three goals did not stop St. Mary’s Ryken Knights goalkeeper Luke Blevins from being motivated in the net.
Late in the Knights Tuesday night contest with visiting St. John’s College High School of Washington, D.C., and already down 3-0, Blevins was diving, jumping and still manning the net as if the scoreboard read 0-0.
To Blevins, that was the only way to play, despite being on the wrong end of a 3-0 final score.
“I just tried to the best for my team and tried to do what I can,” Blevins said.
Blevins finished the game with eight saves, many of which came via a dive or a leap or an athletic play from the junior goalie and Ryken head coach Keith Bohn was praising of his keeper.
“He did do well,” Bohn said of Blevins. “He did control the game and that is one of the things he does very well for us, controlling the game for us from the goal. He is verbal, controls the team and he is doing all of that very well.
“He made a number of saves today. They had way more shots on goal than we did and he made way too many saves, had way too many touches that we would want for our keeper. We do, sometimes, put him under extreme pressure. Two of their goals were one-on-one with the keeper and that won’t work.”
After playing the first four games of the season on the road, Ryken returned home for Tuesday’s home-opener, and the contest with St. John’s was the first of four consecutive home games, it’s second of the four was a Wednesday game with Archbishop Carroll, also of Washington, D.C.
However, the first of the four games was ruined by the three-goal loss.
“We were outplayed and their energy was higher,” Bohn admitted. “We are offensively challenged after last year’s [player] losses, but we didn’t step up tonight, offensively or defensively. … We did not, collectively, come together as a team.”
Coming in winless in seven games with one tie, St. John’s took a 1-0 lead only six minutes into the game.
That one-goal lead turned into a two-goal lead right before halftime and a third goal was added 15 minutes into the second half, creating the 3-0 score.
After not being much of an offensive threat in the first half, the Knights were able to generate shots on goal in the second half, putting together passes and runs to challenge the St. John’s goal, a welcome site to Bohn and his staff.
However, Bohn said that his team’s mindset may have been that on the negative side as the game wore on.
“Guys were playing with frustration and they have to just play,” Bohn said. “They have to play through adversity and being two or three down, we can come back from that, we have done it before. But, today was not a high-energy game and that was unfortunate.”
Ryken 6, Carroll 0
The Knights were able to bounce back a day later with a 6-0 victory over Archbishop Carroll on Wednesday.
Led by two goals each from Noah Jarboe and Chris Forte with additional scores from Colin Travis and Daniel Murphy, the Knights won their second game of the season.
Ryken (2-4, 1-1 WCAC) is scheduled to host the St. Mary’s Ryken Classic this weekend and will be back on the road for a 4 p.m. Tuesday contest at Bishop Ireton (Va.).
Bohn said, “I hope this new-found energy carries over into Friday night's tougher match against Pius XI from Milwaukee.”