A shot at redemption

In the last week, the boys soccer team has finished off its regular season with a tournament in Columbia during the weekend and a game against Oakville yesterday. On Friday, the team fell to Rockbridge 4-1, but according to junior Marc Crawford, the score didn’t truly reflect how the team played that night.

“The game was very close, and I feel like we did well. Possession was 50/50, and we went out there and gave it our all. We just let up a few goals, and that’s what killed us,” said Crawford.

The team then played Hickman on Saturday, winning 2-0 thanks to good passing and teamwork which compensated for the team’s poor shooting performance.

Last night, the team played their last regular season game against Oakville, dominating them through possession. Tied 1-1, the game went into penalty kicks, and the team pulled out a 3-1 win with goals from juniors Ryan Hutson and Tristyn Hasmer, and with three saves from senior Taylor Baker.

Last night was also senior night, recognizing the team’s six seniors for their years in the program.

“I’ve been going to senior night for a few years, and it was just whatever, but being a part of it was just unreal,” said senior Erik Elsenrath.

Senior Nick McCullough also celebrated four years in the program.

“I’ve gotten close to the guys, and we’ve all grown up as a unit. It’s sad, but I’m still looking forward to districts,” said McCullough.

For senior Taylor Baker, his performance last night was one to remember.

“It was a special night for me; I went out there and did what I could. These are the moments I live for. It capped off a great four years,” said Baker.

With Oakville being the their final regular season game, the team shifts its focus to preparing for the district tournament which takes place at home early next week. For the past several weeks, the team has been refining aspects of its game in several areas, one of which is communication.

“Lack of communication has been a problem for us, and we’ve been working at it at practice. To me, communication is a big deal, because right when you get the ball you don’t know if someone is behind you trying to take the ball, and you’re blind,” said sophomore Kyle Setchfield.

The team has been working on shape and formation also, splitting up into groups to work on positioning for each position.

Conditioning has also been a focus for the team, both physically and mentally, working on taking control in the second half and playing for the full 80 minutes and also their confidence.

“If we play a bad team, we’re confident, and we do well. But if we play a good team, we shut down. I think that if we were confident, we could put up a good fight even against teams like Vianney,” said Setchfield.

Junior Andrew Keller shares his sentiment.

“We’re not as bad as we think we are; we’re a good team. We’ve got great chemistry, because we’re all great friends, and if we can use that chemistry to our advantage, we can play well and win,” said Keller.

The team is currently locked in for fifth seed in districts and will play on Monday at home against Fort Zumwalt North.