Varsity Boys Soccer (3-5-3) enters the final two weeks of the district season, still with a shot to make the playoffs. Last week, the Spartans matched up with Spring Woods and Cy Ridge.
vs. Spring Woods
SHS travelled to Spring Woods on Tuesday night to take on the Tigers. In their first matchup, SWHS defeated the Spartans 2-0.
Both teams started aggressively, but neither could develop a consistent play to goal in the early minutes. The Spartans' first shot came in the 10th minute, when Hanno Waguespack threw in the ball from the left sideline to the center, the defense blocked it out, and Brian Leon followed up with a hard shot but wide left.
SWHS responded on an offensive steal from the SHS defense. The forward dribbled out right and took a hard shot, which was blocked by Spartan keeper Juan Ugalde, who had to scramble to jump on the ball before another SWHS forward could follow up.
SHS created another opportunity in the 15th minute, when Jasper Hartman had a long run, passing two defenders out to the left, crossing into the center to Boniface Byshimo, who took a ground shot on target, but it was saved by the SWHS keeper.
SWHS struck back with several close calls for the Spartans, between the 20th and 30th minute, but Juan and the Spartan defense kept the Tigers out of the goal. Until the 31st minute. SWHS made a fast-break after a midfield steal, and the Spartans couldn’t organize quick enough to defend, as SWHS got on the board first, 1-0.
SWHS came out quick, getting an early second-half goal to go up 2-0. In the 55th minute, SHS created a nice opportunity, where Jacob Smith won a challenge to take control of the ball and put a very nice through-ball to Yuto Koyima, who beat two defenders and took a quick shot, but it was saved by the SWHS keeper. The Spartans had difficulty creating offensive plays as SWHS was strong in the midfield and started most of their drives from there, which left SHS to play on the defensive through the greater part of the second half.
The Tigers held on to win 2-0.
vs. Cy Ridge
On Saturday, SHS hosted the Cy Ridge Rams, who is the District leader and undefeated in District play at 9-0-1. Cy Ridge defeated the Spartans in their previous matchup 4-0.
The Spartans started out as the aggressor and maintained possession very well, with a few quick long runs and shots in the early part of the game, but shots were not on target.
Then in the 13th minute, off a throw in from Hanno Waguespack, Fabu Ndayishimiye received the ball under pressure but maintained good control and passed back to Hanno, who put a nice through-pass to Yuto Komiya, who had broken through and beaten his man for a one-on-one with the Cy Ridge keeper.
Yuto’s shot was on-target but blocked out just over the crossbar. The Spartan defense played extremely tough and there were many early stops by Adrian Estrada, Zayn Tippitt, and Zealtiel Nava. Juan Ugalde made a great save at the 20th minute, when a Cy Ridge forward took a long through-pass and had a one-on-one situation. This was one of several excellent saves that Juan would make on the day.
The Spartan offense continued to pound to the Cy Ridge goal as the first half continued. At the 25th minute, the Spartans continued to frustrate the Cy Ridge defense when Fabu made a long run on the left sideline and a superb center pass to Yuto three yards out of the goal, who got there just a bit too late to get off a good shot.
At the 27th minute, Hanno made a long throw-in from the left sideline to Brian Leon, who got off a hard shot to the right side of the goal, which was blocked out by the keeper, chased down by Yuto, and passed out to Jacob Smith, who was waiting outside the corner of the goal box. Jacob’s shot went just out of the keeper’s reach but bounced out off the cross bar.
In the 29th minute, the Cy Ridge keeper stepped over the goal box on a punt and the hand ball was called. Jasper Hartman took the direct kick from just outside the box, a nice shot that the keeper could not have saved, but just didn’t have enough room to come down and went just over the crossbar.
In the 35th minute, Hanno took a corner kick and perfectly centered it to Adrian, who headed it just high over the goal. The SHS defense continued to play strong and finished out the half, locked at 0-0.
SHS came out again like the first half, aggressively attacking the Cy Ridge goal for several opportunities. In the 45th minute, Jasper won a strong challenge at midfield and put a nice long ball out to the left to Fabu, who took a one-touch shot on target that was blocked out by the keeper.
Cy Ridge responded with several strikes in the following minutes which were successfully defended, including a two-on-one situation with SHS keeper, Juan, who aptly blocked the shot. After another keeper handball on the punt, except this time on the Spartans, Cy Ridge had a close set-piece, which was blocked out by Adrian.
The Spartans were pulling out all the stops in this one, with several great attempts on the goal, including a great play starting with a nice move by Fabu, letting the ball pass through his legs and turning to chase it down the sideline, beating his defender, and taking the hard shot that was blocked out to the right and chased down in the corner by Jacob, who centered it back where Fabu was waiting, and took another shot that was blocked out by a defender. Brian Leon was there to receive it and shot the ball just wide right.
That was the last SHS attack as the time ticked off the clock, but the Spartans showed their strength and grit in this 0-0 tie with the #1 team in the District.
The Spartans need to win to have a chance at making the playoffs. Come out this week to see our rival game with Memorial High School Tuesday night at Memorial and then finish off the regular season with a home game against Jersey Village on Friday. We need the Stratford USA support for these boys as they fight to the finish! See you all there!