Spartans advance in playoffs after last minute victory

The first game of the 2012 soccer playoffs ended in a bittersweet nature. On one hand, the Spartans were able to withstand a Holt rally late, but on the other hand, the team, according to coach Nic Beckmann, played sloppy and emotionless.

“Awful. [The team] came out tonight expecting to walk all over a team. They didn’t play with energy all night, except for an individual effort by [Justin] Stinson,” said Coach Beckman.

The effort mentioned occurred early in the first half, as the sophomore Stinson drove the ball in for a goal. After that however, the team began to commit mistakes and showed a lack of energy. Despite the ugly play, the defense was able to hold off Holt.

“We have a really good sweeper — John Harris — he does a good job keeping them off of us,” said senior goalie, Clayton Luley.

While the defense kept Holt off the scoreboard, the offense could not get back on it, lacking a killer instinct for much of the game.

“We knew we needed that second one,” said Luley. The Spartans failed to score again until a Holt goal with 6:47 left in the game motivated them.

“You saw right away once they scored, our intensity picked up. If something is on the line, we play well,” Coach Beckmann said.

The Spartans wasted no time responding, scoring again just three minutes later. The goal, scored by senior Austin Pierce, put the team up 2-1 with just 3:25 left to play. The Spartans would not relinquish that lead, and the held on for the win.

With the win, the Spartans move forward in the playoff tournament. The next match up will be this Saturday at Central at an undetermined time. What is determined however, is the opponent.

To be the best, you have to beat the best. The Spartans will try to do just that with the next game against the number one ranked team in the state, Chaminade. With the win over Oakville, Chaminade moved to 23-2-2 on the season, no doubt a test for the 19-5 Spartans who suffered their first loss of the season to Chaminade.