Soccer (Kinda) Wins in SPC

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Soccer (Kinda) Wins in SPC

The Hawks’ SPC journey starts back in the last game of the season. While they suffered an unfortunate 4-1 loss to Casady, this loss proved to have a bright side to it, as due to the SPC standings, the Hawks drew a more favorable team, John Cooper, in the first round of the tournament. On Thursday, the Hawks traveled out to Trinity Valley for their first-round game against the Dragons. The Dragons boasted a solid defense, a big and athletic striker, and a very speedy outside mid/outside back. The game was a back and forth battle up until about halfway through the second half, when an errant clearance led to a John Cooper goal. As the Hawks pushed more and more players forward, the John Cooper defense proved steadfast, and no goals came. The game ended 1-0, a tough defeat for the Hawks.

The next day, the Hawks took on the Houston Christian Mustangs at Oakridge. Houston Christian was a known weak team, since they finished almost last in the regular season. Despite the clear disparity in talent between the two teams, it was Houston Christian who got on the scoreboard first. Less than ten minutes into the game, a simple cross led to a free, tap-in header for the Mustangs.

However, the tide slowly turned towards Cistercian. About midway through the first half, striker Jimmy Garda (‘19) was taken down in the box by a Houston Christian defender. Jimmy was given the penalty kick, which he converted with ease. The game remained a deadlock tie until the second half, when Jakob Quarles (‘22) finished off a cross from the wing. The game opened up for the Hawks as Houston Christian had few offensive opportunities in the rest of the game. Jimmy Garda soon followed up adding another goal to the Hawks’ tally, making it 3-1. Finally, in the waning moments of the game, Zain Dabbous (‘21), hit a perfect side volley from outside of the box. This made the final score of the game 4-1, in favor of the Hawks.

The Hawks, now rejuvenated by the emphatic win from the day before, set out to play Oakridge in the significant 9th place game. This game was important because the Hawks had scraped out a scrappy 1-0 win against the Owls in the regular season, and this had created a bit of animosity between the teams, but particularly on the Oakridge side. Early on the cold Saturday morning, the Hawks began the uneventful first half. Chances were few and far between, and both sides looked evenly matched. However, in the second half a controversial handball led to a penalty in favor of Oakridge. The Owls converted, and the Hawks were down 1-0.

But the Hawks fought back. During a set piece, midfielder Evan Anderson (‘20), was taken down by an Oakridge defender who was immediately given a red card. Evan took the penalty and easily put the ball in the back of the net. Just a few minutes later, the Hawks got a free kick just outside of the box. Reefe Harrison (‘20) stepped up to take it, and hit a perfect free-kick into the top left corner, leaving the goalkeeper standing still. And within ten minutes, the Hawks were beating the Owls 2-1. They eventually held on and won the game, getting 9th place overall in the tournament. While it might have been a disappointing finish, the heart and ferocity that the team played with in the last two games was inspiring and a perfect show of competition and hard work. Our athletics program has instilled in us a fighting spirit, and the perseverance needed to never give up even when things aren’t going well. It might not have ended exactly as we would have wanted, but the Cistercian Hawks have undeniably had a good season, and it was fantastic to go out with two straight wins.

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