History Made As Soccer Team Trumps ‘Dice on Senior Night

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By Obama Eagle Staff Reporter Theodoros Papazekos

Most people in Pittsburgh know about the storied rivalry between Schenley and Allderdice High Schools.  However, few know that when Schenley became Obama in 2010, the passion carried over.  As the last ever class to play for the Schenley soccer team was honored on senior night last night, only one thing was on their minds.

“The number one ambition I had this season, was to beat ‘Dice!  And I’ve never been so certain that we were going to do that until now.  I know we are better than them!”   “You guys don’t really know what it’s like to play ‘Dice.  You never played as Schenley, and you haven’t had your senior year yet.  But I grantee you, that when your senior year rolls around, ‘Dice will be the only thing on your mind.  I have yet to beat ‘Dice, so let’s take care of that today boys!” those were the types of pregame speeches laid out by the seniors.  Robert Pell and Yoka Rooney, who delivered those quotes, lead the emotional squad into battle.  They failed to mention that the last victory over ‘Dice was in the 2009 City League championship game, when it was still Schenley doing battle on the pitch.

With alumni of the program looking on, the eagles got off to a great start.  Fueled by a boisterous Obama crowd, the eagles came thundering out of the gates.  With breakaway chances from Abe Kouyate and freshman Nate Boyer going just wide.  In these early parts of the game, senior goalie and valedictorian Ben Freedman made crucial saves to keep the score level.

Throughout the first half, the game was kept tight by tremendous plays from both goalies.  While ‘Dice had more possessions, Obama dominated in chances, lead mainly by the counter attacks of highly skilled junior Abe.  Abe was putting on a clinic for those watching, getting behind ‘Dice’s defense multiple times, so it was fitting when he scored the first goal.  With four minutes in the half, Nate swung in a beauty of a corner.  After a bit of a scrum in the box, Abe managed to head the ball across the goal line.

That score carried into halftime, when seniors Yoka, Ben, Rob, Nick Nordquist, Malcolm Mitchell, Caleb Hall, Zack Healy, and Chazz Daniels were honored in their last game.  The halftime atmosphere was electric, with the Obama crowd leading the way.

The score remained 1-0 until Abe, after narrowly missing twice, finished off a great run with a goal.  Fifteen minutes into the half, Abe slipped past the ‘Dice defenders and ran in alone on goal.  He easily passed the ball into the net for his 17th goal of the season.  However, just four minutes later, ‘Dice answered in the form of 6’5” Tim Pugh’s header.  Thanks to some tremendous defending by Yoka Malc, Rob, Ben Eppinger, and freshman Francis Eddy-Harvey, the score held up for a 2-1 Obama win.  The win marks the first ever Obama victory over ‘Dice, and ended the six game losing streak against them.  The game also elevated the squad’s record to 8-7 on the year, clinching the first winning record in WPIALs for Schenley/Obama.  So far, the new program installed by Coach P. is off to a great start, and the boys look forward to next season.