As seven years have passed, it’s become clear that teams like that St. John’s club don’t come along very often. Even at the time, the Eagles finally wondered where they stood nationally after securing the state title.
“That was the first thing I was thinking after this. It’s over and we have this national ranking. I would love to continue on and, just for fun, see how far we could get,” Ersing said after the state final.
For Masconomet, a decade earlier, the reflection also began after the final whistle of the state final.
“What I’ll remember 10, 20, even 50 years down the road is how we pulled together as a team and made this actually happen,” Geisel said. “There were 17 seniors and we wanted to go out with a bang. We knew we had the capability to do this; it was just a matter of putting it all together and making it happen. The fact that we did just that will stand out more than anything in my mind. I’ll never forget this team.”
Who would win an all-time game between these teams? It’s nearly impossible to say, especially because St. John’s Prep was so disciplined and so unlikely to be pulled out of form by anything. At the same time, Masconomet had some pretty good athletes all over the field, and it only takes one great play to make a low-scoring soccer match a classic.
Independent of that, however, is the fact that both teams reached the pinnacle of their respective sports. No one can ever take away the greatness both groups tasted on the pitch.
“For the month of November, we felt like the world was ours,” said Peter Nechtem.
For both Masconomet in 1996 and St. John’s Prep in 2006, it was.