HAMMOND | In a highly anticipated soccer match between two rivals, it’s no surprise Monday’s contest between Times No. 4 Bishop Noll and No. 6 Andrean was physical throughout its entirety.
The match ended in a 0-0 tie, with 45 fouls, seven yellow cards, two ejections, and nothing but bumps and bruises for both teams. Bragging rights having to wait until the postseason, where the teams will likely meet again in the Bishop Noll Sectional. The tie extends both teams’ unbeaten streaks to five matches.
Both teams lost key players for their next contest due to soft red cards, perhaps more significant for Andrean since leading scorer Mike Gore will be unavailable for Wednesday’s Northwest Crossroads Conference-deciding contest against Munster. For Bishop Noll, Gonzalo Romo will not be able to play Thursday against Covenant Christian
Bishop Noll coach Armando Garza downplayed the significance of the physical aspect of the game and the rivalry itself.
“Both teams battled hard, and it was waiting to see who was going to make a mistake or score first,” he said. “It was just a matter of capitalizing on opportunities.
“We both have banged up teams. It’s a matter of getting them healthy. Everyone was so looking forward to this game. All we wanted was to get this game done.”
Andrean showed its quickness and ability to attack in the second half, especially on Evan Fogle’s goal attempt with 19:40 remaining in the game. However, Fogle’s shot was too high, and the score remained 0-0.
Both teams had several opportunities to get on the board in the first half, but perhaps the best scoring attempt came from Bishop Noll’s Aaron Garza, who uncorked a laser beam with 28 minutes left in the first half that sailed just inches over the top of the goal.
“I thought that ball went in,” Armando Garza said. “Me and Pete (Reist) looked at each other. I don’t know how it made it out.”