The Paw Print

Defeating the undefeated

Varsity boys soccer team wins against Blue Valley West

Olivia Madderom, Editor-in-Chief

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The soccer ball is placed in the center of the field. The audience utters a low rumble and the calm of the evening mixes with the adrenaline pumping through the soccer players’ bodies. The score is tied, 2-2, and for a small, private 3A school, challenging 6A Blue Valley West, whose soccer program is ranked #2 in state, the tied score is impressive.

“It was one of the most fun games I’ve played while being at KCC,” senior co-captain JT Trott said. “I think especially after the first goal we came out with more energy and believed we could win.”

Even with the knee injury of Joseph High, senior co-captain and scorer of the second goal to tie the game, the team pressed on. Each second, each play counted and when the Panthers finally made that third goal, they could barely keep the lead.

“At first I didn’t know what happened to [High]. He was feeling his knee and I knew that wasn’t a good sign,” sophomore starter Luke Kerley said. “I hoped he’d be able to return and everything would be okay.”

Starting off disorganized, the Panthers took an early loss and a goal was quickly scored for the opposing team. Fixing up sloppy mistakes and implementing the drills they’d practiced on the field allowed senior Jacob Butler to mark up on the goalie, and nudge into him when a shot was fired. Barely able to reach it, the goalie swatted it, and the soccer ball bounced off of an opposing team’s defender for the first goal.

“We continued to try and we fought and ended up scoring two,” Kerley said. “It was definitely a great win and everyone played really well.”

Soon a shot was fired for BV West, and the Panthers were again losing. But the team stepped it up and came back with a goal by High, who weaved his way around opposing defenders.

The tie was held for most of the second half, and shots were fired and missed for both teams. Trott shot a free kick outside the 18 yard box and the goalie fumbled it. A rush of Panther soccer players followed up, and senior Arthur Beck was able to almost pass the ball into the gap that the goalie unintentionally created.

High was then soon hurt, tearing his MCL in the opposing goalkeeper’s box from a challenge by the goalkeeper. After watching High being walked off the field, the team did not allow themselves to get down. Instead they played harder and matched the intensity of Blue Valley West. They were able to hold off the players by killing time with the ball; kicking it out of bounds or way up the field.

“[I felt] a little bit of anger and frustration and sadness when [High] got hurt,” Trott said. “I was a glass box full of emotion, but [after the game] I was in disbelief, overjoyed and confident.”

And at last, the buzzer sounded and KCC was announced as the winners against the bigger and previously undefeated BV West.

“I was really excited for sure [after the game], and as a team we sprinted off together,” Kerley said. “We were all in shock, and celebrated right away.”

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