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Boys soccer falls in Sectionals


After winning the Class 3, District 6 title, the boys soccer team advanced to the Sectional round, but fell short in the quarterfinal game.

The Falcons hosted the Fort Zumwalt East Lions on Nov. 7 for the first round of Sectionals. Coming off their 1-0 win in the District championship, boys soccer coach Tom Wade said he utilized the mentality that called for success at Districts going into the game.

“We just try to maintain a growth mindset and keep improving with every match,” Wade said. “We knew we were playing well going into the Sectional match and wanted to maintain that consistency in our level of play.”

The Falcons immediately established a lead within the first minute of the game with senior Mason Crew scoring the first goal. Junior Joe Simon added to the lead 10 minutes later. Simon said that he felt he contributed to his team’s success with the goal, but also credits the whole team for success too.

“Scoring at home in the postseason was such a great feeling, and scoring as a starter in the postseason has been something I‘d been wanting to do since my freshman year,” Simon said. “I feel I contributed, but it definitely wasn’t all me, as we had plenty of people on the scoresheet.”

10 minutes after Simon scored, freshman Quincy Thomas made it 3-0, then Crew scored his second goal of the game before the end of the half. Crew said that solidifying the lead early on was key to their success in the game.

“Scoring early just kills the opposing team’s confidence in going forward, especially when it’s in the first minute,” Crew said.

In order to maintain their 4-0 lead at half, Wade said he told the team to just maintain their level of consistency in play.

“I told them to not let up at all, keep playing with the same quality and intensity as well as keep finishing our chances,” Wade said.

The Falcons did just that, with senior Taylor Savage scoring the fifth Falcon goal 10 minutes into the second half, further strengthening the lead. Shortly after, Crew scored his third goal of the game, making it 6-0. Crew said he credits his personal success in the game to his teammates.

“Without the team getting the ball to me there would have been no opportunity to score,” Crew said.  “Yes, it’s great to score and it helps make the game easier, but at the end of the day, it’s a team effort.”

Senior Eric Battelle rounded off the scoring, propelling the Falcons to advance further to Sectionals. When thinking about the team’s overall performance, Wade said he was proud of their effort throughout the game.

“It was a great win for them, they were brilliant and I am so proud of them,” Wade said.

The Falcons next opponent were the Fort Zumwalt South Bulldogs, who had a record of 20-4. In order to get into a team mindset for the match, Simon said the Falcons maintained a high level of energy going into the game.

“The team was full of energy, and we knew how important this game was as we had beaten them last year and we knew we had a team that could do it again,” Simon said.

On Nov. 10, the Falcons visited the Bulldogs for the quarterfinal round of Sectionals. With the Falcons having won State last year and the Bulldogs winning just two years ago, Wade said the rivalry was present in creating the strategy for the game.

“We know how they play and who their goal scorers were so we were prepared for what would try to do in the game,” Wade said.

The Falcons came out in a battle with the Bulldogs, with large play from each team. In spite of the continuous play between both ends of the field, the score remained 0-0 at halftime. During halftime, Crew said he regrouped the team to create motivation for a Falcon win.

“The only thing that I told my teammates in the second game is to just relax and play our game,” Crew said.

The Bulldogs scored with less than 15 minutes left in the game, establishing a 1-0 lead over the Falcons. The team scrambled to tie the game in the remaining minutes, but fell to the Bulldogs in a 1-0 loss, ending their road to State. Even though the postseason ended earlier than he wanted, Wade said the team did well in the game.

“It was a great battle, the boys played great, and they left everything on the field. I’m so proud of each and every one of them,” Wade said. “We outplayed them for much of the match but in the end we couldn’t find the back of the net and that was the difference.”

Even in the feeling of loss, the Falcons are looking forward to competing for the State next year. Simon said he is going to train and influence others to work hard next year so the Falcons have a shot at winning.

“I plan to train and influence others to work just as hard, along with just needing to keep the quality of players the same, by getting the next generation of players just as great as the last,” Simon said. “Every single returning player wants to get past this loss and start preparing now for an even later post season next year, more specifically another run at a State title.”

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Carrie Sandler, Of The Talon Staff

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