NAC scores first victory in Clericus Cup

The North American College scored its first victory of the 2007-08 Clericus Cup season with a 4-0 win over the French College. (Deja vu? See last season’s 4-0 win.) Even though the U.S. team’s seminarians and priests had been running all week hosting visiting cardinals and dignitaries for Saturday’s consistory, they had enough kicking power left on Sunday to give the French a little coup d’etat. 

The NAC’s manager, coach and star player from Paterson, N.J., Daniel O’Mullane, netted 2 goals for the team, known as the Martyrs, while another goal was sealed after a “power play by two forwards,” NAC media master Greg Rannazzisi told Catholic News Service.

The fourth point could probably make Clericus history: NAC goalie Father Andy Roza of Omaha, Neb., (profiled by his archdiocesan newspaper last March), put his toe to the leather and slammed the ball down the field from the goalie box. The kick went far enough that all it took was a header by another player to tap it into the French goal. Voila!

Of the more than a dozen U.S. cardinals in Rome for the so-called “Red Storm,” retired D.C. archbishop Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was the only scarlet dignitary to make it up the hill and cheer on the home team for the first half.  

Rannazzisi said the fan turnout was surprisingly good given that not only was it a Sunday, but the Rome rain clouds did nothing but drizzle the whole afternoon. “We used a lot of Catholic guilt” to get about 30 people up to the field and cheer on the U.S. from the sidelines, he said.

The Martyr’s next game is this Saturday when they go head to head against the College of St. Anselm, which lost 2-1 in its opening game Saturday against Rome’s Latin American College.

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