Father Gabriel Richard was a little out of sorts in the first half but once they kicked things into the gear they raced by visiting Flat Rock as the Fighting Irish defeated the Rams 7-0 in a District 38 (Division 3) soccer opener on Monday afternoon.
“We had a few days off and it showed,” said FGR Coach Carlos Calderon. “We did not play a very good first half.”
Juan Sancho, Brent Johnson and David Schoenle helped kick the Fighting Irish into a 3-0 halftime lead. And while the Irish dominated play for the opening boot, they played a much better second half and it showed on the pitch and on the scoreboard.
“We talked at halftime about this being a District game and how they needed to play with a different mentality and for the most part we did,” Calderon said.
Flat Rock, on its heels for the entire second half, felt the pressure and ended up kicking the ball in their own goal in attempt to clear it after a corner kick to make it 4-0.
The Fighting Irish didn’t need any help. Theodore Ziolkowski headed in a cross to give the hosts a 5-0 lead at 31:22.
With 24:19 left in the game, Brendan Cupchak fired a rocket from about 25 yards out that the Flat Rock keeper had no chance at stopping to make it 6-0.
Schoenle scored his second of the game for FGR to finish off the scoring at 7-0.
The Fighting Irish (15-7-1) will play Wednesday against the winner of the Dearborn Henry Ford and Canton Prep game.
The other side of the bracket features Monroe Jefferson against Grosse Ile and Romulus Summit against Taylor Prep.
Richard will more than likely face the host Red Devils in Friday’s championship game. Grosse Ile is undefeated and headed into the playoffs as the top-ranked team in the state in D-3.
“We have to get ready for Wednesday before we start thinking about (Grosse Ile),” Calderon said.
The Fighting Irish just need to take care of the Fighting Irish.
“We have a lot of seniors on the team and it’s in their hands to decide what they want their legacy to be,” Calderon said. “We have 12 seniors on the team and they have all played varsity soccer for three or four years so it’s all up them.”
The Fighting Irish won Districts last year before losing to Lansing Catholic in a regional game.