The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

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The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

Boys soccer dominates final match against Roosevelt

It was a chilly, quiet, and somewhat cloudy October afternoon. The lazy mood of the Spartan soccer fields completely contrasted the energy of the pep fest and homecoming game the night before and also the excitement for the dance set to happen just a few hours later. On this typical Saturday, boys varsity soccer took on a class AA opponent, Roosevelt High School, at home for their last game before the section playoffs. Though Roosevelt was a class higher, the team won in a 3-1 comeback win and will move forward with renewed confidence.

Junior Arlo Zirps enjoyed the game plenty. “It was a nice win and a good boost, getting momentum into sections. Roosevelt was a tough opponent, but we played well and showed our character. All in all, it was a very positive effort and reaction,” he said.

The start of the first 40-minute half resembled the peaceful weather. Both teams got off to a slow start, barely making it near the goal area before having the ball intercepted or stolen by the opposing side.

After a few minutes, the Spartans began to pick up their game and consistently made it across the field and set up scoring opportunities. Forward Liam Sullivan found a chance to strike and drove his shot, hoping to start the game strong, but the goalie deflected it.

Their next chance came 20 minutes into the half. Cheers came from the stand, and Spartan audience members stood up as striker Humza Murad finessed his way through the opposing defense and took a promising shot. However, straying to the side, the shot couldn’t reach the goal, and disappointed fans sat back down.

This season, the Spartans have consistently had problems with goal-scoring. “Last year, we lost a couple of seniors who were providing a lot of goals for us, and we’re still figuring out where the strikers fit in and what we’re doing with them,” Zirps said.

This stalemate continued for most of the half, and the Spartans began to struggle, having fewer and fewer offensive opportunities. It took a while for Roosevelt to turn the tables around, but with seven and a half minutes remaining, they decided it was time to make a move. In a fast stroke of skill and luck combined, they took control of the ball and made it to the Spartan’s goalie box. At first, when they shot, it seemed that goalie Cooper Olson had it covered, but the ball swept to the left, and Olson fell, leaving the team and audience shocked. The two teams headed into the half-time break without any significant plays in the remaining time, with a 0-1 score.

I think we’re for sure the strongest team in our section. Last year, we won state, so there are some expectations.

— Arlo Zirps

Ten minutes passed, kids cleared the grass, parents found their spots on the bleachers again, and players began repopulating the field.

The second half began. The Spartans were back with a vengeance after a pep talk from coaches, instructing the athletes to bring back their gameplay from the very start of the game. Seven minutes into the half, a collision left the Roosevelt Goalie lying on the grass. Shaken by this, he could not prevent Captain Orion Kim’s goal-scoring shot just seconds later. Playing well the entire game, Kim hadn’t been able to make a point for the Spartans until then. Only six minutes later, with a fresh goal on his mind, Orion Kim came bolting back, once again scoring. Teammates ran to him, fans cheered, and the team gained the lead with a reignited passion.

The Spartans owned the rest of the half. Even though they still struggled with taking advantage of scoring opportunities, it didn’t matter because the ball was rarely off the offensive side of the field. With 12 minutes remaining, they lengthened their lead further as Awaale Osman scored on a freekick. For the game’s final minutes, neither team made a big move, ending the game with the Spartans winning in a 3-1 score.

Though Roosevelt had an early goal, the game was still mainly in the hands of the Spartans. Moving forward from this game, they feel confident. “It didn’t feel like a comeback. It felt more like we were controlling the game. They got an early goal, but we just played consistently and kept working,” Zirps said. “I think we’re for sure the strongest team in our section. Last year, we won state, so there are some expectations.”

Ending the regular season on a high note, the Spartans will move onto section playoffs, hoping to qualify for the state championships, where they will face off with the best of the best in the A class. Their first playoff will be at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow against St. Croix Lutheran on home turf.

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About the Contributor
Thomas Chen
Thomas Chen, Sports Editor
Hi, my name is Thomas Chen (he/him). I work as the Sports Editor for RubicOnline. This is my second year on staff. At school, I’m the Upper School Council treasurer and I'm also involved in the Asian Student Alliance. I love to figure skate and watch reality TV. I can be reached at [email protected].

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