Boys soccer team ends season in district semi finals matchup

Senior Ryan Chluda dribbles toward a defender in the game against Amanda-Clearcreek Oct. 20. (Photo by Mead Gibson)

After earning the top seed in the district, the boys soccer team fell to Granville 1-0 in the district semifinal Oct. 24.

The Lions finished with a 10-4-4 record and won their first league title since 2018.

The team opened the postseason with an 11-0 win over Amanda-Clearcreek in the sectional final Oct. 20 headlined by goals from season-leading scorer junior James McCann and senior captains Nick Eddy and Max Hartman. Four days later, the Lions lost to Granville in a tight game in the district semifinal.

Sophomore Emmett Pliskin said that their main issue in the game against Granville was their inability to finish goals and take advantage of opportunities that came their way.

“We had a lot of shots, but our lack of focus and our complacent attitudes left us scoreless,” he said.

In addition to their lack of goals from plays on the field, senior Quinn Hall said that they also struggled to get results from plays like free kicks and corner kicks.

“We have had trouble with taking advantage of set pieces,” Hall said. “There are many times where we had just miscommunicated on the kicks and wasted our opportunities.”

The Lions had 18 corner kicks against Granville and finished scoreless in the game despite having many opportunities in the second half.

Hall added that most of the goals they gave up resulted from preventable mistakes that he hoped they could fix before the tournament, but ultimately cost them the game.

“Many times in the regular season we let in stupid goals because of our lack of communication, and we just made a lot of plays that cost us where it shouldn’t have,” he said.

Pliskin said that despite his disappointment after the big loss, he was grateful for the opportunity to play in the tournament with his teammates.

“I’m hopeful that next year we can get even further,” Pliskin added. “I wish we could’ve made it further, but I had a lot of fun this season and made really good friends.”

Hall said that he had been hopeful about the tournament because of the team’s talent and camaraderie.

“We have known for the past few years that this year was going to be our best year in a while because we have a really strong senior class,” Hall said.

After the first tournament win, Hall explained that he was pleased with the team’s ability to control the pace of the game, and he said that he hoped their success would carry into the next game.

Pliskin said that a big reason for the team’s regular season success was their close knit program.

“During the season, we had a lot of time to bond as a team,” he said. “That kind of bonding off the field really helped us on the field.”

Hall added that he has loved being a part of the team this year because of the connections he made.

“I love playing soccer, but more importantly, it’s the friendships that make it great,” he said. “I get to hang out with my friends every day after school, and that is a lot of fun.”

Pliskin said that their bonds helped with team chemistry and solved problems before they started.

“We realized that if we want to win, we can’t solve all of our problems on our own and that we need the help of our whole team in order to succeed,” Pliskin said.

Pliskin added the varsity team was quarantined for last season’s playoffs, so this year was his first tournament experience.

“The playoffs are very cutthroat, and you realize that if you slip up, then your season could be over,” he said.

Hall added that last year the JV team had to step in and their loss changed the mindset of the whole senior class for this season.

“We were just really disappointed, and that adversity really motivated us to be as good as we can be,” Hall said.