Relax. Everything’s going to be fine.
That was the kind of vibe Cathedral Prep boys soccer Sam Tojaga projected on the Ramblers’ sideline after Erie High scored less than two minutes into Tuesday’s match at Dollinger Field.
Prep experienced that sudden deficit when Richard Lokale scored on the Royals’ initial shot on net. The midfielder’s goal stood up for most of the first half.
Most, but not all.
Tojaga’s confidence the Ramblers would recover paid off not once but twice over the last 3½ minutes before the break. Dylan Danch tied the match on his first goal this season, followed by Juan Pablo Dogret Milet’s go-ahead score with exactly one minute left.
“Coach gave us faith,” Cameron Dunbar said, “and we never backed down.”
Dunbar’s insurance goal during the second half provided Prep insurance en route to its 3-1 victory. The Ramblers moved to 2-0 in District 10’s Region 5 standings and 4-2 overall.
Erie High, in its first appearance since a double-overtime tie with Warren, dropped to 0-2 and 3-3-1.
Dunbar’s goal was the prettiest during summer-turning-to-fall weather at Dollinger.
Prep’s forward awaited a centering pass near the left post of Erie High’s net. The sophomore then outjumped the Royals’ Bonheur Kitongo and headed a high shot past goalkeeper Bonane Taabu with 13:47 left in regulation.
“I hadn’t got a lot of minutes in varsity (matches) before this season,” Dunbar said. “It was great getting the goal that sealed the win.”
Handzel handles no-goal match
Prep’s Noah Handzel assisted on Milet’s score in the first half. However, the senior didn’t add to his team-leading goal total of nine.
That Handzel didn’t score, yet the Ramblers still won, made him feel like he actually did.
“I thought it was great that other people stepped up,” Handzel said. “Some of the other (forwards) took some ownership and my team was still able to succeed.”
Prep goalie Tyler Chermack also denied Erie High a second goal after Lokake, a junior midfielder, recorded his team-high fifth.
Tuesday’s match was Prep’s last before the first of its two against McDowell. The rivals have an 8 p.m. meeting scheduled Thursday at the Trojans’ Gus Anderson Field.
Dollinger is the site for the teams’ Oct. 9 rematch.
Erie also returns to the pitch Thursday. The Royals will travel to Howard Sheen Field and face the Corry Beavers.
This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: Cathedral Prep beats Erie High in Region 5 boys soccer match