St. John's Jesuit's Bailey Crawford (2) uses his head against St. Francis de Sales’ Keegan Winkler.
THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH
St. John's Jesuit didn't allow much time for suspense to exist during Tuesday night's conference championship-deciding showdown with crosstown rival St. Francis de Sales.
The Titans collected the Three Rivers Athletic Conference championship in dominating fashion by posting a 5-0 shutout over the Knights at Lyden Field.
PHOTO GALLERY: St. John's shuts out St. Francis for TRAC crown
Camden Buescher scored two of St. John's goals to help make it clear which of the two teams that entered the matchup undefeated in conference play deserved the TRAC title.
Cole Meyers, Colin Doyle and Bailey Crawford added a goal apiece for a Titans team that celebrated the victory with a St. John's student body that rushed on to the field moments after time expired.
"It's a big win for us," Buescher said. "We've got this huge rivalry against St. Francis and it just means a lot for us to come out and get the win on senior night."
After Meyers scored on a header with 31:26 remaining in the first half and Buescher followed with a kick from 20 yards out 2:58 later to give St. John's a 2-0 advantage, the Titans took the lead into halftime and basically never looked back.
Buescher said they went into halftime feeling comfortable about holding on to the lead.
"After we set the tone with the first two goals we had a good rhythm to the game," Buescher said. "We set the tone well and we knew if we kept playing our game, we'd have it."
St. John's first-year coach Tom Shook said winning the TRAC championship represents the work the Titans (11-2-2, 7-0-0 TRAC) have put into making this a successful season.
"As you can see they're awful happy beating St. Francis," Shook said, looking over at the team being congratulated by the Titans student body. "It's a big win for the program."
St. John's goalie Jarrett Karalfa earned the shutout, but credits his teammates' effort playing in front of him with making it a rather easy night for him. He had only a couple of times during the contest in which the Knights (8-3-2, 6-1-0 TRAC) put a lot of pressure on the Titans goalie.
"I had a little bit of action but it was our defense," Karalfa said. "Everybody played really well."
But that wasn't the case for the St. Francis goalie Logan Kuhlman and the rest of the Knights, who struggled to slow down the Titans offense.
"All credit to St. John's they moved the ball pretty well," St. Francis assistant coach John Clarke said. "The shame is I thought for long periods of time, especially the start of the second half before the third goal, I thought it was one-way traffic for St. Francis.
"But St. John's did a nice job and they deserve the TRAC championship. Tom (Shook) has done a nice job with the team."
The Titans' lead became 3-0 when Doyle showed some persistance and didn't give up on a loose ball the Knights goalie momentarily bobbled, which allowed for him to kick into the back of the net with 34:09 left in the second half.
Crawford made it 4-0 with his score coming at the 23:04 and Buescher capped the night with his second goal of the game coming with 18:56 to play.
"I just tried to pick my head up and find the open slot in the goal and it worked out," Buescher said, of his two goals.