Soccer - MS Gold
|Date:||October 16, 2018|
Life can be very unforgiving and at times even unfair. The Gold Soccer team has endured a lot of pain, so far this season, but it is sometimes the ashes of defeat that can give birth to the most beautiful of things. Yesterday, McDonogh traveled to our home field and after we suffered a 7-0 loss to Gilman the previous day we were not in the mood for failure. Something felt different before this game than previous outings. We felt more whole, we were hungry for a win.
Before the game I approached our starting outside backs, Ryan Carroll and Mason Bortner, and told them, “We will score, but I am not sure how many, so it is up to you guys to shut them out.” Right away those two set the tone. Our defense became a wall, which then ignited our offense. Camden Humphreys was displaying elements of magic from the beginning, simply dictating the game and controlling the offense. This magic was reinforced with the help of recently acquired unrestricted free agents Josh and Wyatt, who played with a level of passion that infected the rest of the team. We then needed a spark, which was carried out by supersubs Michael Shields and Chris Sheehan. Michael pressured their backline, which forced them to retreat. This then opened up the midfield and allowed Chris to shine. There was something about this game that felt different. We knew we had them. We knew we would win.
Coach Phil rallied the troops during halftime and got them in a frame of mind that injected confidence into the squad. Coach had them ready meow.
Before the second half begun I looked at Tyler Clary and said, “You are the captain of this team, get us the win.” I looking at him and him looking at me he said, “okay coach.” Tyler then proceeded to put on a second half performance that was reminiscent of Luka Modric in this past World Cup. He took complete control of the offense and defense with his relentless nature and sublime skill.
As time ticked on there were elements of doubt that began to creep up. Would we score? Would we win? Do we have what it takes? However, it is during these times of fear that St. Paul’s becomes stronger and at that moment the Varsity Soccer team came over to the game and pumped new life into the players. Ian James and Cole Knott then started to heat up. They were making runs and taking on defenders in a way I have only seen from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. While the score was still 0-0 I knew we were close. It was at this moment that Mason Kaplan absolutely torched his defenders and sent a missile towards the goalie. The keeper made the save, but the power was too much for him to handle leaving the ball open in the box. Jacob Yishak came crashing in and finessed the ball into the corner, with such grace it felt like an angel was on his feet.
The score was now 1-0 with 8 minutes remaining. I looked at Cadigan Kimball, our captain, our leader, our defender of the wall, and said “it’s on you now, lock it down”. He said nothing in return, but he knew the responsibility he had. For those last 8 minutes Cadigan and our goalie, Ben Henigan, had to be perfect. There was no room for error. As McDonogh pressed on we pressed harder back. As time moved forward tension grew higher. Eventually, we withstood their last attempt and cleared the ball to safety. The clock went to zero and the team rushed the field. I embraced Coach Phil, which sent shock-waves of joy throughout the campus. After the game we all gathered up and looked at each other. Nothing needed be said because we all knew: we were victorious.
We continue the march of rebirth this Thursday against Loyola. They are unofficially ranked number 1 in the nation and we plan to dismantle them. This train is not stopping for anyone. We will fight the good fight.