EHS Boys Soccer Loses In Sectional Semi-Final

Jaydi Swanson, Views Editor

The second half of the boys soccer sectional semi-final started with hyped fans and a fast moving ball down the field. Only minutes in, a foul on junior Cooper Nolan gave senior AJ Sullivan a chance at a penalty kick.

The crowd grew silent as Sullivan set the ball up. Faking the goalie out, Sullivan kicked the ball into the left corner of the net, sending the fans into a frenzy.

But this goal would not be enough to secure the Tigers a win. The boys soccer team fell to Collinsville Tuesday after an aggressive game, marking the end to their season.

The Tigers had many shots on goal in the first half, including an impressive scissor-kick move on a breakaway by senior Bryce Glisson. Nolan and seniors Ethan Miracle, Josh Reed and Bryce Broshow also had attacks on the goal, but all attempts were stopped by Collinsville’s defense and senior goalie Tate Wyatt.

“I think we created a lot of chances…,” varsity coach Mark Heiderscheid said. “We just didn’t finish, or otherwise there were opportunities to make it three and four (goals).”

While the offense may have fallen short, the Tigers were strong on the defensive end. Senior Seth Goodman and juniors Kadin Lieberman, Ashton Kaufman and Jakob Doyle all showed impressive defensive skill as they stopped Collinsville’s advances countless times.

“We had to adjust to their long balls they like to play,” senior Kenneth Bond said. “They like to play kickball.”

Head balls seemed to be a specialty for Lieberman. His high jumps over the opponents helped the Tigers regain possession and move the ball back into their offensive half throughout the game.

For Goodman, taking aggressive risks proved beneficial as well. Using his speed and foot skills, he chased down the ball, either clearing it down the field or following it out of bounds, taking a chance for a shot away from Collinsville.

“Seth is a really good leader in the back field,” Bond said. “We needed him back there this year. I’m glad he stepped up.”

Still, Collinsville almost broke through to score at the end of the first half, but an off-sides call ended the half with a score of 0-0.

After Sullivan’s goal to start the second half, Collinsville saw many opportunities. Edwardsville senior goalie Andrew Wike had multiple saves, including a slide tackle to steal the ball.

Wike could not save them all, however, and Collinsville senior Donovan Scott-Gass slipped a ball in off a free kick from the corner to tie the game at 1-1.

The Tigers responded with quick passes and breakaways. Glisson dribbled the ball through three opponents for a shot, but it was deflected and cleared by Collinsville’s defense.

With 3.7 seconds left, thoughts of overtime were quickly abolished as Collinsville senior Zane Baker slipped the ball in the net after a save by Wike was repossessed in the confusion.

Jaws dropped all over the stands, and Edwardsville fans yelled in disbelief. The Tigers were given one last attempt with the remaining time, but the game was over, locking in a 2-1 win for Collinsville.

Senior Noah Surtin said heartbreak was the only word to describe the feeling that spread through the student section.

“I felt like I lost the game myself,” Surtin said. “Those boys work their butts off, and it really hurt to see their season end like that.”

After allowing the team some time to process the loss, Mr. Heiderscheid delivered the last locker-room talk of the season. He told the boys that despite the outcome, he was glad he had the chance to coach them.

“There’s a lot of despair that comes from playing a sport…but I’d take that risk anytime with them because I certainly love them and the time I have the opportunity to spend with them,” Mr. Heiderscheid said. “It’s worth it to say we got to be there as a team.”