Lions defeat Mustangs in quarterfinals


Aaron Waldman, LT

Seniors Jonah Gross, Jaren Goldberg and Ari Platt form a wall together during a penalty kick.

Max Schwartz, Reporter

The CESJDS boys varsity soccer team defeated the Barrie Mustangs 1-0, sending JDS to the semifinals. JDS won on a late-minute goal by senior Seth Pearce who headed a corner kick into the back of the net. Pearce had missed a couple of scoring opportunities earlier in the match but came through right when JDS needed one most. 

“I felt a great sense of relief,” Pearce said. “Everyone celebrated and it was a great feeling.”

From the moment the game started, it was clear that this would be a physical matchup. Barrie came out of the gate fast by frequently stepping in the way of passes and minimizing JDS’ opportunities. Early on, the Lions were stymied by the Mustang’s aggressive defensive approach, but they responded with a physical defensive game plan of their own. 

“There was a lot of pushing and shoving, and it’s important that we kept playing physically because often that’s what it takes to win,” senior Aiden Melkin said. 

In the second half, however, the Lions began to find holes within the Mustang defensive front, creating key scoring opportunities. Despite the improved offensive play, JDS still couldn’t score. Especially on corner kicks, the Lions struggled to take advantage of close chances. Finally, in the 77th minute, the corner kick was on point and Pearce was able to capitalize. 

“I thought we played really well in the last 10-15 minutes,” senior goalie Josh Einhorn said. “Our midfield really held it down, won those second balls, got some good chances for our strikers and we just had to put one in the back of the net.”

Defensively, the Lions held their own and limited Mustang attempts to enter the offensive zone. Einhorn wasn’t tested very much but made clean work of the chances he did face. 

“We played really well defensively,” senior Ben Bass said. “We communicated well and even after [senior] Jonah [Gross] went down, we still held it down and kept a clean sheet.”

Now, the Lions will look ahead toward a semifinal matchup with the Sandy Spring Friends School. JDS lost to Sandy Spring 4-1 in their lone regular season matchup. Despite this, Einhorn is confident JDS can win. 

“We just gotta stay tight on the back line and we get opportunities up front and I think we can beat them,” Einhorn said.

Head coach Kevin Gnatiko backed up Einhorn’s confidence.

“We have a strong team with a lot of seniors and experience,” Gnatiko said. “I think we can beat anybody.”