DOVER — Jesuit coach Bob Bauman questioned his team's intensity and the Tigers stepped it up for a 3-0 shutout of Steinbrenner in Friday night's Class 4A, District 9 final.
The victory avenged a 2-1 regular-season loss to first-year Steinbrenner and made up for a sub-par effort in a 2-1 district semifinal win over Lennard. It also gave Jesuit 20 district titles.
"Tonight, we came with the right intensity," Bauman said. "That was the challenge for these guys, stepping up and playing. When you're in the playoffs, you cannot let up."
Steinbrenner coach Chad Ebright, looking forward to a potential region semifinal against Jesuit, vowed that the Warriors (11-3-2) would play better if given another chance.
As for Friday's game, Ebright said the Tigers "just played hard. Jesuit wanted this game and took it. Tonight, the better team won."
It did not take long for Jesuit (17-4-3) to challenge Steinbrenner goalkeeper Michael Ruggles, who made a nice save on a backdoor play near the right post in the opening minutes.
The Tigers broke through in the 13th minute with Tyler Hartlege heading the ball into the middle of the net off a free kick from the left side by J.T. Mahoney. They took a 2-0 halftime lead thanks to the strong right foot of Brett Durrance, who drilled a 30-yarder high into the net off a free kick from the left side.
The Tigers pulled away with the only goal of the second half. Christopher Conlon kicked in a rebound from in close after two Ruggles saves during a scramble in the box.