DANVERS — St. John’s Prep soccer captain Brooks Clark let his play on the field yesterday show why he’s a team leader.
Clark scored a goal and assisted on another as the Eagles claimed their third straight Catholic Conference championship with a 2-0 victory over rival B.C. High yesterday.
Goalkeeper Ben Alpern of Beverly recorded his 10th shutout of the season for St. John’s Prep, which allowed only one goal in eight league games while winning them all.
“It took a team effort,” said Prep coach Dave Crowell. “They’re out biggest rival, and I was confident our kids would step up to the challenge.
“This game had a state tournament feel to it, even though it wasn’t a lose-and-go-home situation (as in the state playoffs). We played our game, possessed the ball and made them chase. I was especially pleased with the way we managed the game in the last five minutes, even though we didn’t score. That’s something we’ll need to do in the tournament.”
Needing a win or tie to win the title outright (a loss would’ve meant they’d have to share the crown with B.C. High), the Prep came out fired up. The hosts took a 1-0 lead on a head ball by Levon Kazelyan off a corner kick by Clark in the 25th minute of play.
Clark then added an insurance goal for St. John’s (13-1-1 overall) in the 52nd minute when he scored on a penalty kick, putting the ball into the top left corner and out of the reach of B.C. goalie Rich Froio. It was Clark’s sixth goal of the year and third on a PK.
“We knew B.C. High (11-2-1) was very good because we played them a couple of weeks ago (a 1-0 Prep win),” said Clark. “On that corner kick, I put the ball at head level and Lev connected for the goal.”