Soccer loses District Championship in penalty kicks


Mary Corkery

As senior Carter Williams keeps Gabe Wright of Webster Groves away from the ball, junior Austin Conger (15) dribbles down the field. The Falcons were defeated 1-0 by Webster Groves on. Nov. 3, ending their postseason.

After a scoreless game and half an hour of overtime, the Falcon fell to Webster Groves during shootouts at the District Championship on November 3.

This year’s Class 3 District 2 Playoffs were held at home, and the team faced the Statesmen at the Falcon’s Nest after defeating Washington 4-0 on October 29 and Parkway West 4-2 on November 1. Although the team lost to Webster 5-1 during their last matchup on October 6, head coach Tom Wade said that he was confident in the team’s ability, especially with the home field advantage.

“I knew exactly what the boys are capable of, and I knew exactly what they were going to do. When we played at Webster earlier in the year, we lost 5-1 on the score line, but it was not a 5-1 game. I knew that when we played them [at home] and we could play our style of soccer, I knew that we would be a handful for them,” Wade said.

The Falcons were able hold their ground throughout the game, keeping the Statesmen from scoring and having multiple goal attempts themselves, including a shot off a corner kick in the second half that caused a goal line controversy. Although Wade said the team played great, the team couldn’t manage to score a goal and the score remained 0-0 until the end of the game.

“It was a brilliant performance. We had probably more opportunities to score than they did. We had a goal called back, which would’ve put us up 1-0. Soccer’s funny like that. You can play great. You can do everything right, but sometimes it’s so hard to find the back of the net.”

Junior Griffin Green said that one of the toughest aspects of the game was staying positive and motivated throughout.

“Keeping our heads was a big challenge. In every game, there are always calls that don’t go your way. But you can’t let that affect the rest of the game. We had to just keep smiling and keep playing good soccer and trust that our chances would come,” Green said.

The teams then went into overtime, but there were still no goals. After 120 minutes of gameplay, they were forced into penalty kicks to decide who would take home the district title. Green said that the team had been practicing and he was prepared to save some of Webster’s shots, but multiple goals were also stopped by Webster’s goalie Luca Zarky.

“We were confident going into penalty kicks. We worked on them at practice and we knew what we had to do. I told the team before we started that I was going to save at least one. And if they made their shots we would have no problem winning the game. Unfortunately, [Zarky] made some good saves.

Despite the Falcons converting two of their penalties, Webster ultimately took the game after Zarky scored the fourth and final penalty.

Knowing that it was going to be one of the hardest games of the season, Junior Austin Conger said that the team was ready but just had bad luck in shootouts.

“Going in [the team] knew it was going to be one of the toughest matches,” Conger said. “We were prepared for everything and practiced PKs but it’s all a guessing game and we just got unlucky.”

The Falcons finished with a 17-7 record, and Wade said that he is impressed with and proud of the performance the team displayed this season.

“Overall, I couldn’t be more proud of the boys. We love all these boys, and we’re so proud of the energy, the effort and the passion they played with,” Wade said.