Boys soccer ends memorable season in defeat


Lovejoy Soccer

The boys soccer team huddles pregame before their first round matchup against Forney. The team finished the season 12-3-5.

The boys soccer team hung up their cleats for the final time at Memorial Stadium this past Friday. The team was defeated by Forney 1-0 in the first round of the playoffs.
“We struggled at the beginning to keep possession of the ball,” senior defensive midfielder Hunter Reck said. “They came out harder than we did and resulted in them going up in the first half. We played much better in the second half, but just couldn’t find the back of the net.”
The leopards’ defense held up fairly well throughout the game forcing just 10 shots to the goal the entire game. The lone goal for the Jackrabbits was scored off a controversial penalty, which resulted in a free kick in the first half.
“We definitely could’ve done some things differently,” senior goalie Noah Nguyen said. “I think the game really came down to the first half and we didn’t start strong. It wasn’t till the second half that we recuperated our composure and focus during halftime, but by the time we were playing at our best, we were already down a goal and Forney was all defense. The game ended with lots of last-ditch defending, but we didn’t play our best at the beginning of the game and it allowed Forney to snag a game-deciding goal.”
The team attempted 21 shots, but couldn’t convert them into points on the scoreboard.
“It took us a whole half to start connecting passes,” sophomore midfielder Aidan Battelle said. “It seemed like we weren’t able to really click with each other. So therefore we didn’t play to our full potential the entire first half. I think we should have gotten our heads in the game and focused more on the first 20 mins of the game.”
The group ended the season off with a 12-3-5 record, the best since the 2019-2020 season.
“Our season went great and I’m proud of how our team performed,” Nguyen said. “We faced several challenges and we didn’t let them slow us down. Through all of the challenges, we ended up with a district championship, which we were thrilled to win.”
In addition, the team became district champions with a 10-1-1 district record, the program’s best in five years.
“My favorite memories this year were going to Georgetown, winning our first game, and winning district at home,” Reck said. “Georgetown is always a good way to meet your new teammates and develop a relationship with them. It was also a great achievement winning district this year after falling short the past two years; it was always a goal of mine going into high school.”
As the team looks towards next season, the program will look to replace 17 seniors to graduation.
“With eight of our 11 starters being seniors they weren’t just players but also teachers to the younger players,” Battelle said. “We will continue to strive for greatness and we were thankful enough to have two freshmen on varsity this year, so I think our future is bright. We have a great freshman class and I’ve heard our incoming freshman will be even better. But our sophomore class will really have to step up next year on really guiding them.”
The seniors moving on hope that their work ethic and actions on the field that they implemented will carry on to their fellow teammates.
“I think we left behind a good work ethic,” Reck said. We also helped establish that starters change a lot and you need to keep working to get playing time.”