Not a good Clericus Cup weekend for North American College.
The seminary’s soccer team, known as the North American Martyrs, struggled in a 3-0 loss Saturday to the International Ecclesial College “Sede Sapientiae.”
It was a windy, wet and somewhat gloomy day, and to top it off team manager and star Daniel O’Mullane ended the game holding a very swollen hand. He was pushed into a fence late in the second half.
O’Mullane, a seminarian for the Diocese of Paterson, N.J., made the only near-score for the Martyrs, driving a shot that sailed just above the crossbar.
At least the Martyrs’ fans continued to dominate the cheering section. One seminarian brought a battery-powered megaphone, and at one point he led the crowd in singing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”
OK, “crowd” may be an overstatement. I counted 20 people, but it was raining, after all.
Sede Sapientiae is a relatively new seminary in Rome run by Opus Dei, with about 90 seminarians. Their players, many of them from Latin America, looked like they were born on the soccer pitch, handling the ball with flair and shooting passes with precision.
Last year, Sede Sapientiae made the semi-finals, and they don’t seem to have lost anything this season.
Thanks to two earlier victories, NAC remains tied for first place in its division. But the Martyrs’ schedule doesn’t get any easier next week. They play Redemptoris Mater, the winner of the 2007 cup, who are undefeated so far this year.