For the first time in three years, the boys soccer team did not advance past the first round of playoff contention. The boys lost to Smithson Valley 2-1 March 27 in the 6A Bi-district round.
“We played really good soccer, but we just ran out of time,” sophomore defender Ethan Iverson said. “They got two lucky goals, and then we came back, and then we ran out of time. If we would have had another half, we could’ve came back and tied it up.”
Both players and fans entered the second half feeling worried and apprehensive after Smithson Valley picked up a two goal lead in the first half. After a sluggish first half, the team showed large improvement in the second.
Excitement rose when senior Gustavo Rangel scored with 11 minutes left in the game. Hope began to show itself as the team believed they were on the verge of a comeback.
Once the buzzer went off, many players broke down in disbelief that their playoff hopes had been ended so early. Players young and old felt the pain of the early postseason defeat.
“I just wish I could have done more,” senior goalkeeper Jose Bermudez said. “I just felt sad [at the end of the game]. It’s over. All the hard work is done here.”
The last time the team was knocked out in the first round was in 2012 against Judson. The next years’ teams would go onto the Regional Semifinals (2013) and the Regional Quarterfinals (2014).
Battling back from a rough preseason campaign, the boys soccer team fought for a good district standing, ending with third place and a record of 7-3-2 (W-L-T). Going into playoffs, the team looked to make a deep playoff push.
The team will lose ten seniors, four of which who were starters for the majority of the season. Looking into the future, this team has a lot of potential to get back to the later rounds of the playoffs, with the other 17 returning players who now have some playoff experience.
“We’re so tight knit, everyone knows each other, and no one really gets on each other’s nerves,” Iverson said. “Eventually, it’s going to be unstoppable. We’re going to be pretty good.”