St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes midfielder Jordan Wiley took his spot in the Georgetown Prep box, waiting for a corner kick during the second half of Thursday’s Interstate Athletic Conference championship. Before the kick was dropped in, Wiley said he heard a Little Hoyas player tell the rest of the team, “Don’t mark him. He’s a little guy. No one mark him.”
The baby-faced freshman wasn’t offended. But he also wasn’t surprised when the ball came to him. And when it did, Wiley made his rivals pay with a header that broke open a tie game.
Wiley scored two goals, and senior forward Graham Guidry added another as No. 4 St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes cruised to its first league tournament title with a 4-1 win in Alexandria.
“I took the opportunity and waited,” Wiley said of the header. “And it happened to come right to me.”
The Saints (16-2-2), who beat the No. 8 Little Hoyas (11-4-1) for the third time, looked in trouble early after Georgetown Prep’s Jason Colliton converted a header off a set piece for a 1-0 lead. But five minutes later, Guidry did what he has done all season for one of the area’s best sides, scoring his 26th goal on a penalty kick and putting his fingers to his lips to quiet the opposing sideline.
“Usually when I take PKs, I just pick one way,” Guidry said. “No matter if the goalie is more on that side or if someone says I’m going that way.”
Guidry may represent the present strength of St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes, but Wiley may symbolize its future. Standing at 5-foot-3 in cleats, a year ago Wiley was an eighth grader at Browne Academy in Alexandria. On Thursday, he was competing in the school’s biggest game since the IAC tournament started two seasons ago.
“Inside, I just feel like I contributed to our team, making us a better team,” Wiley said.
After Wiley’s header in the 50th minute, the Saints stunned Georgetown Prep with a sneaky left-footed goal by Connor Padgett in the 60th minute — and the Little Hoyas failed to get quality looks at the net after that. With about 13 minutes left, Wiley found himself waiting again near the left side of the opponent’s box. A hard line drive ricocheted off Georgetown Prep’s goalkeeper, and Wiley cleaned up the rebound with a clean strike that put the championship on ice. He raised his hands in the air after the goal, and only then could spectators see how large his jersey looked on him.
“I’ve seen a lot of progression in his ability, just from the beginning of the season until now,” Guidry said of Wiley. “Just imagining what he will be like as a senior is pretty amazing. I progressed a lot from where I was my freshman year, and I think it will be the same case for him.”