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Boys Varsity Soccer, October 31st

Last Wednesday, October 31, as young kids counted their candy after trick-or-treating and most Academy students finished up homework before heading to bed, the Viking boys soccer squad’s evening had just begun. After a late start to the game, the team took on opponent Mansfield Christian in the brutal cold and rain, losing the hard-fought Regional semi-finals only in penalty kicks.

Although Mansfield Christian led at the half 2-0, the Vikings rallied during half-time and prepared for a comeback. John Michael Long, a senior center defender, recalls, “After some adjustments, we all had a simple question we had to ask ourselves. Did we want these next 40 minutes to be the last minutes of our season or not? The answer was unanimously a no.” The Vikings proved their answer. 

With about 20 minutes left in the match, Jake Tuckerman ’14 scored, riling the team up and encouraging even better, more intensified play. Jack Lint ’14 followed, capitalizing on a perfect cross by Tuckerman by putting a goal in the back of the net with only three minutes left in regular time. According to Thomas Nolan, senior goalkeeper,  “The emotion that followed that goal was something I have never experienced on a team before. Everyone gave all that they had because they did not want the season to end.”

Following Lint’s goal, the game’s regular time ended with a tied score: 2-2, resulting in over-time. And, although the team fought hard and put all they had on the field, the score still remained the same after the extra play. The Vikings lined up for penalty kicks to decide the final verdict of the game; however, in a close, final effort, the team fell.

Even though the season’s end came sooner than hoped, this year’s team exceeded all expectation and played with tenacity and heart. According to Long, “I am really going to miss all the fun we had together. We came into the season with an attitude that we were going to improve and ultimately make a run in the post season. After losing 12 seniors, we knew that it was going to be challenging, but we were ready for the task at hand. We surprised so many people this year, probably even ourselves, but we accomplished so much (League Champs and District Champs). I know we could have gone further, but the season was everything I could have asked for, and I will remember my senior year of soccer at Academy for a long time.”

Academy will remember this year’s team for a long time as well.

Written by Margaret Sutton’14



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