“You can be tired physically, but that’s no excuse to be tired mentally,” stated Charlie Crull, Varsity Boys’ Soccer coach.
On Friday night, the Varsity Boys Soccer team played Coe Brown, Oyster River’s biggest rival. The game was pretty balanced but got really exciting and energetic for the second half. At the end of the game the score finished in a 1-1 tie.
In the first half, Oyster River had a hard time playing the field. “We really just were not playing Oyster River soccer the way we should have been,” said team manager Zach Orringer. Oyster River had control of the ball playing the first bit of the game almost entirely on Coe-Brown’s side of the field, but this control soon faded and shifted back and forth between the teams sporadically throughout the rest of the game. Harrison Reif (‘18) made the first close shot of the game, but the ball flew a bit high and missed. Another determinant for the Bobcats occurred around twenty minutes into the game, when Tucker Henry (‘19) a midfielder from Oyster River was injured. Soon after, Coe-Brown scored their first and only goal on Oyster River.
The play began from the corner and the Bears were able get a quick shot in that beat goalkeeper Zach Leichtman (‘18) and hit the post on the way in. For the rest of the first half and the beginning of the second, Oyster River really brought up the intensity with Leichtman making several great saves including diving and jumping to either catch or deflect balls from the goal. These saves allowed Oyster River to really start playing “Oyster River soccer” which lead to a powerful and well placed goal by Zach Smith with less than a minute left in the second half. When time ran out, the game was pushed into overtime.
Both Oyster River and Coe Brown fought tirelessly to keep control of the ball and to move it up the field which sometimes involved just kicking the ball as hard as they could to keep it away from the other team. By the second 10 minute overtime period, both teams were struggling to keep up their strategies and turnovers became much more frequent. The game remained tied through both overtime periods leaving both teams at similar rankings as the day before just with one new tie on their record.
With the tie Oyster River is now 7th in their division. “We’re playing to advance not playing just to play anymore,” said Harrison Rief (‘18). He and other players feel they could have done better during the game and had not been playing at their best. Oyster River will play Merrimack Valley at home on Wednesday at 4:15 in a preliminary playoff game. “We’ve got a lot of work to do … going to be something I look forward to” says Rief.
~Written By Coleman Moore~