March 4th will go down in Xavier history books as a glorious day. It was not your average game played on the beloved Xavier Lower Field. However, it was the day the blue and gold brought pride and glory home once more.
This team endured an eventful journey, to say the least, as the first phase saw heartbreak when it mattered most. The second phase brought about real promise as somehow, the team found itself in a game for the finals. From what looked like the end of the line for a team that consisted heavily of seniors going out on the pitch for one last run of a season, the great field to which many call home, to finally giving back to the team that poured its heart and soul into the game. With the team given one last chance to close at the season with a bang and end a four year drought of trophies, seizing the finals was all that was left to do after a convincing 6-1 win in the semi-finals. The Stallions were once again treading the well-worn road to the finals trail blazed by generations of Xaverians before them to see if this team had one more game in it. The journey was still very much underway as the team came face to face with the only other unbeaten team in the league, the ever formidable Claret School of Quezon City.
Even a light shower could not dampen the hopes of HS Selection A as they took to the field to fight for the crown as RIFA Champions. It was an incredible day for the team as they were able to emerge on top on home soil in front of an energized crowd of supporters after a hard-fought 4-3 win against fierce competition.
The game was truly championship-worthy as onlookers were treated to an incredible 7 goal thriller with the game going down to the wire. Xavier was able to take an early lead thanks to an early goal by Gab Noel. However, Claret was able to reply swiftly with a quick goal of their own to even out the score and set the tone for the game.
Soon after, another pair of goals were traded between the teams as Nico Anonas rose high to meet a well taken corner kick. At this point, both teams seemed evenly matched and would be able to go on forever in a pound for pound fight. However, an inspiring run saw Carlos Roleda rifle in a shot from the near post to leave the opposing keeper with no chance whatsoever. And even then, the opponent was able to answer back with an incredible effort by their forwards to even up the game for the third time. Not wanting to be outdone, Xavier called upon the services of Carlos once more as he dominated his defender to slot in the game winner to seal the game.
It was the perfect capping off for an otherwise, long and arduous season that saw the team lose star players to injury and endure heartbreak after heartbreak. Thankfully, the team was able to overcome these challenges and emerge on top and end an undefeated second phase on a positive note. Most importantly however, they were able break the 4 year curse that has plagued the school’s senior teams and give the school a chance to properly send off these seniors with a championship and an undefeated season for the record books.
Special thanks is in order for the coaches who poured their heart into this team, parents and their unwavering support ‘til the very end, the opponents for a great game, for the fans who came to support the team, and most importantly God who gave us, and most especially the seniors, one last chance to bring pride and glory to the school in the famed yellow jersey. #Champions #OnePrideOneGlory
Photo courtesy of Xavier School Media Team and PORQFOLIO