Griffins can't hold big lead in 4-3 loss to Catholic

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Dutchtown's Michael Greer had an assist in the Griffins' 4-3 loss to Catholic. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

On Friday night, Dutchtown played a nearly flawless first half as they outplayed and outclassed Catholic, rolling to a 3-0 advantage.

But in the final 40 minutes, the game took a 180.

The Bears came out hitting on all cylinders. They slowly chipped away at the Griffin lead until it disappeared. Dutchtown never had an answer.

When the final seconds ticked off of the clock, Catholic had scored four unanswered goals in the second half to clinch a 4-3 victory over a stunned Griffin squad.

“We learned a valuable lesson tonight that you never take a lead for granted, and you have to take it to them in the second half even harder than you did in the first. We didn’t do that tonight,” first-year Dutchtown head coach Marcus Dyer said. “Granted, Catholic is a great team with great coaches. They fought back hard, and they got what they deserved; we got what we deserved. There are no excuses. We can’t blame the refs; we can’t blame anyone but ourselves.”

The Griffin offense got off to a hot start.

Just four minutes in, Michael Greer made a great dish to Zayne Zezulka in the box, and he finished with a goal to give Dutchtown a 1-0 lead.

Ten minutes later, the Griffins let off a barrage of shots at the Bear goal. Two were saved, but off of a deflection, Ayden Rawashdeh finished with a goal.

And at the 34th minute, Derick Montoya came up with a beautiful corner kick that Zezulka was able to put in the goal with a header.

Zezulka’s second goal gave the Griffins’ a dominating 3-0 lead at halftime. They had a 10-3 advantage in shots at the goal.

Dutchtown continued applying pressure to start the second. Rawashdeh got a look in front of the Bear net, but his shot went over the goal.

From that point on, it was all Catholic.

At the 44th minute, they finally got on the scoreboard with a goal from Garrett Gamble. Just 10 minutes later, Cooper Katzenmeyer nailed a beautiful shot from 15 yards out to get the Bears within one.

Dutchtown got their best chance to score at the 58th minute. A shot by Zezulka was nearly knocked in by a Catholic player. It came mere inches away from crossing the line, but a Bear kicked the ball away just in time.

Meanwhile, at the 66th minute, Catholic scored again to tie the game.

And 11 minutes later, they scored on a penalty kick to complete a flurry of four straight goals. Dutchtown simply ran out of time.

“We lacked mental toughness,” Dyer said. “At halftime, when the score was what it was, a team can get complacent and say, ‘We have this in the bag.’ That’s what our team did. It takes a specific kind of coaching and a specific kind of mentality to hold on to a lead like that—especially against a team like Catholic. We know they’re good, but even against a good team, you can get arrogant.”

In the past two weeks, Dutchtown has played two top teams in St. Paul and Catholic. They tied St. Paul and lost by one goal to Catholic.

“We need to realize we’re a great team as well and realize what it takes to be a great team—not just skill wise,” Dyer said. “Skill wise, we’re there, but mentality is something that we’re lacking. In a game like this, you have to come out with a killer mentality. You can’t let them back into it.”

The loss to Catholic was the first of the season for Dutchtown. It dropped their overall record to 4-1-3.