In a thrilling overtime win, the Regis Varsity soccer team defeated Holy Cross on Wednesday evening to advance to the CHSAA Class AA championship. With less than a minute left in sudden death overtime, Antin Demko '18 scored to give Regis a 1-0 victory in the semifinal game.
Improving their season record to 10-6-3, the Regis squad now advances to Sunday's Intersectional Final to be held at St. John's University. It will be the first appearance for Regis in the championship game since 2002.
Demko's "golden goal" came from an assist by right back Gearoid Kennedy '19. Kennedy attributes the team's late-season success to focused play and good team chemistry, something that has continued to evolve since the beginning of the season.
"Headed into the game, we felt like we were favorites even though we lost to them during the regular season," said Kennedy. "We missed some early chances. But we were playing better soccer as we approached overtime. Though it felt like we had barely any energy left, we wanted to get the win badly."
Earning a spot in the championship game was a season goal for the entire team, especially Senior center back Jack Bingham '17.
"As a senior its huge to make the championship. It's special to finally get to the finals having never been there before. Getting to feel the atmosphere—even last night—there were so many fans. It was really fun," said Bingham.
Regis now faces Fordham Preparatory in the Championship. Fordham, currently ranked #19 in the country, is 3-0 this season against Regis, including a win last week in the Archdiocesan championship game. But Bingham is hoping Regis can turn things around for this fourth and final season match.
"As underdogs, it gives us a competitive edge. Since they've beaten us in the regular season, they might see us as an easy win. We have nothing to lose, and it would make it that much more special to pull off a win against a great team," said Bingham.
For Kennedy, the title game between the two Jesuit schools will present one more opportunity to feed his sibling rivalry with brother Micheál, who is the senior goalie on Fordham's team.
"Mom is a wreck. She doesn't know who to root for. But Dad is a bit more laid back. We are the same way: more relaxed than competitive about it. But we will still try to get strategies out of each other before Sunday."
The CHSAA Class AA championship will take place on Sunday, November 6 at 3:00 p.m. at Belson Stadium (St. John's University). Tickets are $10 each ($5 for students) and can be purchased at the stadium.