The Oyster River boys varsity soccer team defeated Manchester West in a 4-0 victory in their home game last Friday.
“I’m not nervous; I’m excited to play. Our team is very confident in ourselves,” stated Max Lewis (‘19) just hours before the game. After nearly a week of sweltering heat which lead to a few canceled practices, Friday’s cool, sunny weather was a refreshing addition to the home game. The varsity players’ confidence became even more evident as Caden Leader (‘21) scored the first goal within minutes of the start of the game.
Within the first half, Oyster River’s Matt Williams (‘19), Quinn Wilson (‘19), and Noah O’hern (‘21) had all scored goals, leaving the score at 4-0 with fifty minutes left in play. The team’s defense stayed strong in the second half, and the score remained the same for the remainder of the game.
Maddie Hubbell (‘19), a fan of Oyster River boys soccer, cheered the team on from the bleachers alongside friends. “I’ve been going to most of the boys’ games and I think that they are doing amazing this season,” she said. As one of just a few students attending the game, she explained her hopes that fan turnout will increase this season. “I wish there were more students that came. It would be nice to have a more supportive environment. However, there’s a very healthy mix of parents and students, and although some of the parents can get a little worked up, it’s overall a positive environment,” stated Hubbell (‘19).
Other students expressed similar disappointment with the number of onlookers. During the game, Cam St.Ours (‘19) claimed that “I don’t think that there’s much of a sports culture here. I can probably count the students here to support the team on two hands.”
Although the crowd wasn’t tremendously large, the supporters made up for the numbers with their enthusiasm. Two fans, both former Oyster River students, even took a break from their studies at the University of New Hampshire to attend the game. Forrest Mitchel (‘18), a former Oyster River soccer player, expressed his satisfaction with the team’s skillful plays and seemingly effortless success. “I can’t say I wish I was back out there with them, but I’m absolutely proud of them and I know they will do great things.” Fellow UNH student Sarah Lavigne (‘18) hopes to continue watching the team as they grow and progress. “I’m hoping that they do well enough to make it to playoffs and make it to the championship,” she added.
Oyster River’s next step in reaching this goal is an away game this Tuesday at Pembroke High School.
Written by Alana Ervin