The game was closely fought, with the Martyrs scoring the game’s only goal about 25 minutes into the second half on a crossing pass to Andrew Mattingly who bested a two-on-one situation to put the ball into the net.
The match was primarily a showcase of defense, with the Martyrs appearing to have a slight edge over Mater Ecclesiae throughout the game.
In keeping with tradition, the boisterous American fans showed up dressed as super heroes, including Batman, Captain America and Uncle Sam. They sang patriotic songs, chanted as a drum thumped out the beat, and blew air horns.
The Mater Ecclesiae supporters also turned out for the game in strong numbers, filling the stands and backing their team with the occasional cheer and beating of a drum.
The match was held at the Knights of Columbus Fields, which meant the seminarians could see St. Peter’s Basilica in the background as they duked it out.
As the final whistle sounded, the North American Martyrs fans could be heard changing their chant from “We believe we will win,” to “We believe we have won!”
The Clericus Cup is organized by the Centro Sportivo Italiano, and this year it brought together 13 teams from local Roman seminaries to compete for the prize.
The North American Martyrs succeeded in clinching the Clericus Cup for the second year in a row, beating the seminarians from Mater Ecclesiae by a score of 1-0.
Seminary, Sports, Pontifical North American College