Soccer - MS Blue
vs. Friends School
|Date:||November 6, 2019|
Blue soccer ended their season yesterday with a stunning 2-1 win against Friends school. St. Paul’s entered the game with a slim roster, having lost some key players (CJ Henry, Camden Humphreys, and Josh Marson) due to injuries. Luckily, the remaining players stepped up and shouldered the added burden with aplomb. The game got off to a quick start with both teams creating scoring chances from the get-go. St. Paul’s put together some clever combination plays in the first half, and generated a fair amount of chances, but just couldn’t seem to find the back of the net. Friends, on the other hand, snuck one by the St. Paul’s defense on a fast break. The half time whistle blew and the boys in gold headed to the bench down a goal.
St. Paul’s took to the field in the second half with a new, more offensively minded, formation. This added to the responsibilities of the backline, but allowed the players up top to begin attacking freely. Shortly into the half, the wiry seventh grader Landan Sharoky threw himself into a tackle against two of Friends’ largest players and drew a foul just outside of the opposing eighteen-yard box. Matthew Sola, a veteran leader on the team, and playing in his last middle school game, stepped up to take the kick. Knowing that it might very well be the last free-kick of his Blue Soccer career, didn’t seem to phase him. With ice in his veins, Sola hammered the ball towards the near post and buried it in the back of the net. Having tied up the game and sensing that victory was within reach, St. Paul’s began to doggedly pursue the win. The excitement built as Trey Wilhelmsen rattled the woodwork from twenty yards out. Mason Kaplan ran the right wing with wings on his feet. At the same time St. Paul’s locked down defensively. Grady Carroll and Iain Kennedy, the fearless titans of the backline, turned Friends away again and again. Ben Henigan secured the right side of the field with ease. Ross Dildine, having come into his own this season, held the ball up top and served as a key target man for St. Paul’s. Matthew Sola continued to command the center of the field, dictating the flow of the game, and generating scoring opportunities. The decider came with just eight minutes left in the game off of another free kick. After a beautifully lofted ball over the top by Grady Carroll and a failed clearance by a Friends defender, Ryan Nelson, displaying astounding levels of situational awareness, found himself in front of a loose ball inside the six-yard box. With clinical precision he tucked it away and gave St. Paul’s the lead.
St. Paul’s battened down the hatches for the rest of the game and held on to the lead. Ned “the brick wall” Doherty guarded the line between the pipes and secured the win for St. Paul’s. Displaying cat-like reflexes and almost frightening levels of athleticism, Ned kept St. Paul’s in the game with several key saves in the waning moments.
The clock ran out and Blue Soccer walked off the field for the last time this season. They walked off proudly. They walked off with a win. And they walked off together.
CJ Henry. Ben Henigan. Ross Dildine. Trey Wilhelmsen. Grady Carroll. Iain Kennedy. Matthew Sola.
You will be missed next year. Best of luck to you all.