Boys varsity soccer suffers a devastating loss on Senior Night against EGR 3-0


Seniors Matthew Mahoney, Mason Corcoran, and Jaden Talley played their hearts out on their respected night against EGR but couldn’t quite pull out the win. Senior night is always a super special night for every player in sports—it is the most anticipated game of the season. On top of that, boys varsity soccer—along with FHC in general—has always had an intense rivalry against the Pioneers, which made this game a must-win. Unfortunately for the Rangers, they suffered a 3-0 loss after a very close first half and a sloppy second.

“I feel horrible for our three seniors,” head coach Paul Kramer said. “They played their butts off and are such great kids. I wanted the win for them more than anything.”

The Rangers have been anticipating their matchup against EGR since the first practice and needed this win to honor not only their three seniors but also to honor their school. After a competitive 15 minutes of warmups, the Rangers and Pioneers took their respective sides and began play. Right off the whistle, East sifted their way through the opposing defense and took a long shot on net; the ball flew miles over the net, but their point was made 10 seconds into the game: attack. This is the same pressure that would later give them the win.

“The game against [East] is always highly anticipated every year,” Mason said. “There are always bitter feelings on both sides when we compete. In this game especially, there was a lot of emotion and some missed calls on both sides. Overall, though, it was exciting to play in that environment, even with the lack of fans.”

From that point on, the offensive pressure from East was very noticeable, as they pushed the ball up the field time and time again. Although their pressure was there, the Ranger defense didn’t crack. Led by all three seniors, FHC wouldn’t give the opposing team an easy look. Mason flew from front to back, tackling and halting the Pioneers possession after possession. Jaden, who had a few miraculous saves to keep the Rangers in the game, kept the backfield in check as he both stopped the opposing offense, and allowed speedy strikes by swiftly moving the ball up-field.

After a lot of back and forth possessions, the Rangers finally found a chance at the net. Sophomore forward Noah Gleason lobbed a through ball past the defense right into the vision of junior track and cross country star Sam Yeager. Sam put on the burners and retained possession of the ball just enough to get a foot under it for a pass right in front of net. Unfortunately for the Rangers, the ball was quickly tipped by a defending Pioneer and the ball rolled out of bounds. Sam also had a chance at goal but hit the crossbar after a solid pass from teammate sophomore Omar Hadzimujic.

In the 32nd minute, sophomore Andrew Novay had a free-kick straight to the back post that was deflected out of bounds by a leaping East player. For the next 20 minutes, the game was back and forth until a midfield breakdown from the Rangers that led directly to a striking goal from the 20-yard line. For the rest of the half, EGR had the upper hand and carried that energy into their halftime huddle. As for the Rangers, there was one common theme that dragged them down the whole first half and for the remainder of the game: 50/50 balls. These are essential to win for any soccer team, and the lack of 50/50 wins was a main factor for the FHC loss.

Knowing this, Kramer decided it was time for a little change. The boys needed to bring urgency and energy onto the field, which is exactly what Kramer said. Captains Matthew and Mason added their takeaways of the first half and what should be brought into the next half. With that, the boys took the field for the final 40 minutes of the game.

After the speech, the boys were ready to go. They started off with energy as they danced around, attacking the ball at all points and preparing for the counter-attack. Being that it was against a heated rival, there were emotions spewing out at all points on the field. That emotion only made the Rangers more furious, as they pushed with everything they had. About halfway into the second, it paid off. A penalty from East led to a Ranger free-kick. At this point, the team knew it was their chance. The ball soared over the opposing defense and right into the goalie’s hands. He then dropped it as he came crashing to the ground, which propelled the ball out to the left side of the net where sophomore Lance Decker was sitting. Lance then took this opportunity and banged the ball into the back of the net which led to the 1-1 tie. What the Rangers didn’t know is that a referee assistant from 60 yards downfield claimed he saw the ball kicked out of the goalies grasp by one of their players. With much confusion and disappointment, the goal was revoked and the score placed back to 1-0 in favor of the Pioneers.

“We still need to learn to persevere when calls or plays do not go our way,” Kramer said. “Even with the game-tying goal that was disallowed for us, although it was a terrible call, it cannot drag us down so much that we become complacent with our effort on the pitch.”

After this point, the Rangers couldn’t regain their footing, and EGR scored two more goals, making the game 3-0 at the final due to a lack of effort. The team let emotions after a bad call step in the way of what had to be done, which overall ruined their chances of winning this game. The Rangers now fall to 0-3 in conference and regular play and face Northview on Thursday, September 17.