The Varsity and Junior Varsity boys traveled to Metro Christian for a non-district game each, this last Tuesday. Neither team has won against Metro in over five years. Coach Martinez was most eager for the two games, as he held more faith in the line up of both his teams. The varsity team had a strong roster filled with seniors and juniors, whom each knew their way with a ball. The J.V team had a strong list of players as well; the soccer club had acquired several athletes that were new to the sport, but caught on quickly and were competing with fierce athleticism. Both teams had certain players who were seen as wild cards, but they all were proved valuable in certain parts of the field.
There was a slight fear in the crowd on one factor. To add to the overall daunting aspect of going against a team that they haven’t beaten in half a decade, the Cards also lost their college committed, starting goalie on varsity, Gage Powers; who is out for the season due to a knee injury. To fill the slot, Chase Roden was starting as goalie on varsity. The coaching staff and team members obtained much confidence in Roden through the course of the last few games. Roden had already made several P.K blocks and saved goals; the new keeper was also surrounded by four very confident and seasoned defenders.
The J.V Cards were the first to play against Metro Christian. Though it was the underclassmen’s game, the overall tone was exciting. Both Collinsville and Metro would throw in a few of their varsity players, from time to time, in order to gain the upper hand in the game; Metro seemed to be doing so more often than Collinsville.
The two teams were deadlocked at 0-0 for the entirety of the 1st half. Both teams were pushing four players offensively, hoping to get an accurate shot on goal. The two teams remained neck and neck through the entire game, but at the beginning of the 2nd half, Alex Guthrie scored his goal for the Cardinals and gave Collinsville the lead at 1-0.
As the clock continuously drained, Metro Christian had begun to push more and more players forward offensively, in hopes of scoring. By the last few minutes, Metro was pushing nearly seven to eight players forward to the offensive side, leaving only two or three back defensively. Although the Cardinal J.V team was very young and new to soccer, the players showed maturity and athleticism in how they defended their goal to the very last second.
The J.V Cards finally defeated the Metro Christian Patriots. 1-0. The Metro Coaches obviously expected an easy win by the displeasure they showed at the end of the game, but Collinsville shocked the home team and crowd as they showed an entirely new and improved team.
After the victory given from the underclassmen, the Varsity team now took the field against the team that has stole away their victory for over half a decade. In the past few games and tournaments, the varsity boys team has proved to be an obvious threat to many teams of whom have expected to come out as top seed in district rankings. The Cards were proved to be a worthy adversary to the Patriots this season, and obviously, Collinsville now had the momentum of a J.V win.
The two opposing teams were brutally even. The Patriot and Cardinal athletes were exhausting themselves as they were sprinting non stop during both halves. The score remained at 0-0 through the 1st half and even all the way through the 2nd. Cole Hadley, varsity forqard, had nearly a dozen shots on goal, but the strong winds and a competitive goalie for Metro prevented Hadley from scoring. Though both teams gambled their chances and pushed more players forward and back, the score rested at 0-0 to the final second.
Now that both teams were tied, the game would be placed in the outcome of overtime penalty kicks, or “P.Ks” as they are commonly called. How the P.K system works, is each team selects 5 players to shoot goals on the opposing goalie. They alternate shots going from one team to the next. The outcome of the game for Collinsville rested in the hands of their back up gaolie, Chase Roden, and their 5 P.K shooters: Cole Hadley, Joseph Pitts, Angel Perez, Alex Alejandro, and Freddy Olmos.
Three shots into the overtime PKs, both teams had made two goals and missed one. With Collinsville’s very last shot made, the score was Collinsville leading 4-3. If the opposing team scored and tied then both teams would have to select another kicker for a sixth shot and would continue this way until either team won. Metro took their final shot on goal. The final shot was aimed across the goalie to the lower left corner. Chase Roden, Collinsville’s varsity goalie, dove for the final shot and blocked the ball from entering the goal. With this final block from Roden, the Varsity boys soccer defeated Metro Christian for the first time in over five years.
The Cardinal boys teams seem to be dominating the field in all games this year. The varsity boys team has not entered the state playoffs in many years. No member on the current team has ever competed in the high school State Soccer Playoffs. Both Coaches stated that the boys have the opportunity of making this season “the year of first times”. With their performances in tournaments and games, both the coaching staff and fans believe the varsity team could go in as the No.1 or 2 seed in their district. Obviously, there is much excitement and anticipation for Cardinal Soccer this season. The team will soon be competing in their district games to earn their place in the State Playoffs and truly make this their “year of first times”.