Saints fall by a goal in TCIS tourney

Published 10:28 pm Tuesday, October 27, 2009

VIRGINIA BEACH – Second-seeded Bishop Sullivan Catholic scored twice in the first five minutes of the second half to come from behind and beat seventh-seeded Nansemond-Suffolk 2-1 on Tuesday in a quarterfinal match in the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools Tournament at Bishop Sullivan.

The Crusaders and Saints (5-14) met twice in the regular season and both of those matches were one-goal victories for Crusaders, so despite the difference in seeding, and despite Bishop Sullivan going through its TCIS schedule with no losses, the close, competitive match was little surprise.

“I disappointed for the boys. With their level of play, skill and effort today, they deserved more, but, you do have to learn how to win and that’ll come,” said NSA head coach Art Truesdell.

The Saints took the lead in the 27th minute. After a few minutes of good possession and a few brief attacking chances by the Saints, Matt Atienza and Chris Sharrett worked together to move the ball down the left sideline. Sharrett crossed into the middle of the Crusader penalty box and Parke Babiy was there to control the ball on his first touch and slide it past the keeper with his second touch.

The score remained 1-0 NSA until halftime, but the first five minutes after halftime was a sudden turning point. The Crusaders scored in the 42nd and 45th minutes.

In the final 15 minutes of the match, the Saints had promising chances for a tying goal. Babiy moved from midfield to a forward position with about 18 minutes left and Brock Barbeau, who recently switched to play sweeper even as he was one of the conference’s best scorers, moved to a center midfielder position with about 10 minutes to go.

Barbeau had a shot on goal from about 22 yards out in the 71st minute. Babiy had a couple headers in the Crusader box, one that was to the keeper and a second that went wide of the goal.

With the clock going under seven minutes, an NSA corner kick created a loose ball and hectic scramble in the Crusader box, but the Crusaders cleared the danger. A couple minutes later, a cross from Sharrett was tipped away by the Crusader keeper as it crossed the face of the goal. Had Sharrett’s pass gone through, Babiy would’ve had a chance at an open header from point-blank range.

“It has been tough, especially in the early part of the year we were clearly not playing as we should’ve. It’s not good enough to just show up at games in this league and think you’re going to win,” said Truesdell. “But give the boys the credit, because they turned it around.”

Truesdell is already optimistic about next season, in large part because of a JV team that lost only one match this season. Truesdell brought a couple JV players up for Tuesday’s match.

The main project will be replacing the offense provided by Babiy and Barbeau, who totaled 28 goals this season.

“I hope we’ll have more balance and be a deeper team, as you saw a little bit today,” said Truesdell.