Support the men’s soccer team at the CJ feature game of the week Saturday, September 17 as the Eagles take on the Alter Knights at Fairmont High School. The junior varsity game begins at 11 a.m., with the varsity immediately following at 1 p.m.
The 2011 varsity squad (2-3 overall, 1-1 GCL), anchored by a core group of veteran players, enters its match with the Knights coming off two key victories: a 2-1 upset over Belbrook; and a road win against league opponent Roger Bacon.
Senior co-captains Nate Rose, Christian Knight, and Eddie Ruff agreed the team’s recent momentum should help reverse the trend that has been plaguing the class of 2012. In four seasons, the Eagles have yet to record a victory against Alter, dropping three consecutive games and tying once as freshmen in 2008.
“It will be a battle. That game is never an easy one for either team,” said Ruff. CJ’s schedule is no ‘easy one’ either, with seven of the team's 16 games against Division I schools in addition to the yearly meeting with Carroll—fellow GCL North competitor and reigning Division II State Champs.
“We’ve always played a tough schedule,” said Nate Rose, a four-year varsity letter winner.
“That is just the way the GCL is, but with 15 seniors on the team, there’s a big comfort level. Most of us have been around the program for four years and I think everyone is benefitting from that,” he added.
The Eagles are led by longtime head coach Matt Money, ’81, who enters his twelfth season at the helm of the program. His philosophy of teaching young men to be the best players they can be on the field, and the best person they can be away from the field, has allowed teammates to strengthen their relationship with one another and with God.
Before taking the team bus to games, Coach Money leads CJ players in a prayer service at Emmanuel Church. Away from soccer, he encourages students to meet up for team dinners and gatherings, said co-captain Christian Knight.
“We have gone out to dinner together at Marion’s and Submarine House, and it’s a social event. At practice you can’t really become close friends, but at dinner we can all bond together,” said Knight. He feels the time spent with teammates outside of school is, in turn, producing positive outcomes on the field.
“The attitude has changed from playing not to lose, to playing for the win,” he said.