ELYRIA — Elyria Catholic’s Gage Jarvis waited two seasons to get the second hat trick of his high school career, so it was only fitting he pulled it off against the Panthers’ biggest rival.
Jarvis, a junior forward, scored once in the first half and twice in the first 20 minutes of the second half to propel Elyria Catholic to a 5-0 win in the Elyria Cup at Ely Stadium.
It was the 17th edition of the annual crosstown battle, which the Panthers have not lost since 2000. In fact they have held Elyria scoreless in each of the last four meetings.
“This game is always important to us,” said senior Michael Saddler, who had an assist. “We haven’t lost it in over 13 years and none of us want to be the ones that lose the Cup back to Elyria. There’s a lot of emotion in this game. I grew up in Elyria, so I know most of the guys on the other team so it would be easy to lose focus in a game like this.”
The best way to avoid losing focus is to score early and often, which is exactly what the Panthers (4-1) did. Jarvis scored his first goal in the 14th minute off a Saddler assist. Three minutes later, junior Liam O’Halloran scored the first of his two goals and Elyria wasn’t able to regroup.
“We played together as a team today, our passes were crisp and everyone was making their runs,” Jarvis said. “My teammates did all the work. All I had to do was finish.”
Jarvis said the importance of the match extends beyond just the soccer team and affects the morale of the entire school.
“This game means a lot to us because Elyria beat us in football, so we wanted to come out and show them what we could do in soccer,” Jarvis said. “We never look at the record of our opponents. We set a high standard for ourselves for every game.”
Coach John Ball thought his Elyria (1-4-1) team had turned the corner with a 2-1 win against Keystone last week, but after the Pioneers were held to just three shots on goal and spent much of the day chasing down EC midfielders in a futile quest to gain possession, he said there’s still more work to do.
“We have to be more consistent,” Ball said. “We can’t play one team well then come out and play like we’re scared of the next team we face. I always believe that when you play a rival team you bring your best, but it seems like some of our players wanted to shy away from the pressure. It is what it is.”
Jarvis scored again in the 42nd minute and completed his hat trick with a 60th-minute penalty kick that he drove into the lower-right corner of the net past goalkeeper Carlos Lopez.
However, Lopez was the one bright spot for Elyria, turning away 13 shots.
“I think the boys needed this win,” Elyria Catholic coach Attila Csiszar said. “We possessed the ball and played well on defense. It looks like we are finally started to click as a team.”
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elyria Catholic 5, Elyria 0
Goals: (EC): Jarvis 14th minute, 42nd minute, 60th minute penalty kick, O’Halloran 17th minute, 35th minute.
Assists: (EC): Medves, Kelling, Saddler, O’Halloran.
Saves: (EC): Conroy 3, (E); Lopez 13
Shots on goal: (EC) 18, (E) 3
Corner kicks: (EC) 7, (E) 2
Offsides: (EC) 5, (E) 1
Fouls: (EC) 18, (E) 13
Yellow Cards: (EC) Janosik 22nd minute, O’Halloran 23rd minute; (E) Henry 26th minute, Hyde 29th minute, Spieth 29th minute.
Halftime: EC, 3-0