“We’ve shown we can compete.” Boys wrap up season of growth.

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“We’ve shown we can compete.” Boys wrap up season of growth.

Shelby Campbell

Shelby Campbell

Shelby Campbell

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The Eagles clash with old rivals for an intense end to the season

Everyone had wondered when our boys would play against longtime rivals Allderdice, and last night that inevitable match finally happened. It was senior night for our Eagles, and the coaches honored that, starting every senior. “Without doubt, every single one played well,” said one coach, “we are very proud.”

Unfortunately, the Dragons managed to score 7 minutes in to take an early lead. Our boys stayed strong though, nearly scoring several times. Abe Kouyate, Micah Byrum, and Sam Lapp all had near misses at the Allderdice goal. They played great defense, led by Quin Anderson, Evan Buccholt, and Yoka Rooney, chasing down and halting any Allderdice attempts to score.

This was a rough game, with many fouls and injuries on each side. One of the worst moments in the game came when our Micah Byrum crashed to the ground beneath an Allderdice player. The whole stadium was holding its breath as he lay on the field, relieved as he finally rose and made his way to the bench. “All I could think of was getting back in the game,” said Byrum, “I just wanted to finish the season for my team and myself”

In the second half, the refs made several botched calls, one of which resulted in ‘Dice scoring on a PK. Despite all of the Eagle’s efforts, the score ended like that at 2-0. “Nobody likes losing,” said one coach, “But we measure in attitude and effort and I’m very satisfied. They left it all on the field.”

How right he is. Our boys played like champions, playing truly great soccer. Goalkeeper Daniel Denlinger was on fire last night. He made countless saves, staying cool and collected. This whole game showed his true greatness, and his crowning achievement was his expert saving of a PK, which brought hope to the whole team.

The offense last night was fierce. None shows this more than Micah Byrum, who played like a true hero. Byrum was everywhere, speeding down the field at twice the speed of those already sprinting. With his exquisite footwork and clear thinking, he was instrumental in the attacks on goal, coming extremely close to scoring. Even after being injured, Byrum insisted on going back on only minutes later.

Sam Lapp played a phenomenal game, going above his normal high standard. Lapp played aggressively, stealing the ball and connecting passes. He, too, came close to scoring. Lapp was injured in the face in the first half but, like a strong warrior, came back on to challenge Allderdice’s defense.

Our defense, with formerly injured Quin Anderson and Tobias Rather, was nearly impenetrable. Rather played an extremely intimidating game, halting Dice’s strikers in their tracks, showing that nothing can stop a force like him. Anderson, with cast on, could always be counted on to gain control of the ball, and clear the ball. Both made impressive passes up the field, quickly changing who was under attack. Yoka Rooney, a junior, was instrumental in running the ball up the field, delivering it to Abe Kouyate who seemed to dance around Allderdice’s defenders. Overall, the Eagles have everything to be proud of.

This is a bittersweet moment for our Eagles, as they celebrate one of the greatest classes of soccer players in a long time. While some might be sad, senior Micah Byrum has only positive words as he looks back over his career and forward for the Eagles “We fought hard, as we have all season, making us a great team. I am very happy. We’ve shown that we can compete, and with many underclassmen on the team, I know that Obama soccer will continue to be strong.”

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