Jared Palladino is only a freshman on St. Dominic's boys soccer team. That means he didn't know what it was like when the Bayhawks finished 1-10-2 last year. He didn't experience the 2-8-2 drubbing the year prior, either. Nor did he have to go through the 0-11 season in 2011.
Despite not being part of that history, Bayhawks coach Rob Philippou said Palladino was one of several players who couldn't stop smiling after Thursday's game.
Palladino scored in the 26th minute off a cross from Antonio Prunella as St. Dominic upset host St. John the Baptist, 1-0, in a CHSAA boys soccer game.
It was the first time St. Dominic (2-4) beat SJB (6-3) in at least five years, Philippou said. SJB defeated soccer powerhouses Chaminade (8-0) and St. Anthony's (8-2) earlier this season.
"[St. John the Baptist] actually dominated the game and controlled possession, but we somehow pulled it out. I can't stop smiling," Philippou said. "This is by far the biggest win we've had since I started coaching here three years ago."
The scoring play started when Prunella caused a turnover, beat three defenders, then passed the ball to Palladino, who cashed in near the net.
Ryan Cirella made nine saves in the shutout. One of Cirella's most impressive saves happened late in the first half when he ranged to his left and made a diving stop on a header by Chris Abruzzo.
"We all held our breath on that one because everyone thought it was going in," Philippou said. "That was Ryan's best game by far."
Philippou said Prunella anchored the defense, winning several balls in the air. St. Dominic's defense was "under attack all game," Philippou said, but was able to thwart the scoring opportunities and hang on for the win . . . the historic win.
"It's the biggest win for our soccer program in quite a long time," Philippou said. "When the clock struck zero, I still could not believe it."