At the start of the official season, Varsity Boys soccer had a preseason record of 6 – 4 – 1. With high expectations, they kicked off the game vs. Johnson at Comalander Stadium.
The first half was relatively uneventful, with the ball held mostly between the two 30-yd lines on the field. The boys showed all the signs of good teamwork and skill – Patrick Moore’s fancy moves, Chris McLeod’s blitzing speed, and Harley Hill’s powerful headers included. Still, the followthrough required for a score on the board was lacking from both teams.
“Our team notably dominated the possession game,” Zach Royston said. “However, we need to fix how many shots we take from the outside of the pitch to be successful.”
The second half began much like the first, with the addition of some bleak rain. Excepting some notable catches by goalkeeper Brandon Pinkerton, including one two feet above his head off a corner kick, the defense had allowed the goose-eggs scoreboard and cold rain to dash their spirits. Captain Jesse Montagna tried to fill the gaps in coverage while keeping his team’s hopes up, but to no avail. The referees weren’t helping the situation either, as many rough-and-tumble plays weren’t called, one in which crowd-favorite Zengwei Tong took a painful elbow to the back.
“We fell out of our game,” Nate Ralph said. ” We grew tired and didn’t stand strong on defense, which ultimately lead to us ball-watching instead of playing.”
With ten minutes to go in the game, the Jags easily broke across the field and faked past the flailing Brahma defense, resulting in the first and only score of the night. For the remainder of the game, Kye Morawietz and Elliott Clark made a multitude of mad dashes toward the opposite goal that proved fruitless, and the boys lashed out in frustration, which Jon McLeod receiving a yellow card. As the final whistles blew, signaling the end of the game, the scoreboard read 1 – 0 Johnson.