On Saturday, Bryan College, preseason ranked #11, came to Nelson County High School and found a St. Catharine team that was ready for the test.
The Patriots battled hard from the start and were awarded a penalty kick when Sam Kpoh was taken down in the box. Austin Kaczanowski calmly slid the ball past the Bryan College keeper and SCC led 1-0. The visitors battled back and quickly evened the score when a ball was slid across the box to the backside and finished past Patriot goalkeeper Justin Mills to tie the score 1-1. With 3:40 left in the first half, Bryan let a shot go from outside the 18 yard box and into the back of the net to take the lead 2-1. Mills head collided with the post and he had to be removed from the game. Enter Freshman Nicholas Canalas into the goal for his first appearance as a college athlete;an amazing story considering Canalas isn't a goalkeeper.
The half started 2-1 and the Patriots had the visitors on their heels as they attacked the goal and defended with passion. Canales kept a clean sheet in the second half making five diving saves and clearing balls off the line. Coach Wolz commented about Canalas, "Nick actually texted me the night before the game and volunteered to play backup to Justin. He knew our second keeper and our third keeper were hurt and I'm sure he never thought he would be put in such a pressure situation. But the boys and I agree that Nick kept us in the game and should be recognized for what he did for the team.It shows the character of this young player."
The game ended 2-1 and the team walked off the field disappointed with the loss but excited about where they are headed. "We really start our conference play next week with # 3 Rio Grande, rival Georgetown, Campbellsville and Shawnee State. We are hitting our stride and the 5 freshmen and 4 sophmores we are starting are all beginning to gel and working together. Our record does not come close to showing how good this team really is," Coach Tim Wolz.
The Patriots play host to NCAA Dlll Hanover on Tuesday at 5:30 at Nelson County High School.