By Michael Kirkpatrick
Last school year the Guard soccer team went almost the entire season undefeated. They had taken district and were on their way to the playoffs. They won in the first round and then again in the semi-finals. Altogether they were 14-0-3. Their final opponent was the much-anticipated Colleyville Cougars, who had an equally solid record. That dreary day the Guard suffered their first defeat of the season. As a result, they would forever have Colleyville in their sights.
When this year’s season started, all that was on the team’s minds was state. Fueled with the need to beat Colleyville, the team started the season 9-0. After already playing and winning two games in the previous three days they had one more game against Grace. They suffered a moral (players had a run-in with cards) and physical defeat and then a few days later lost against Dallas Christian. This is how they entered the playoffs.
After the two losses they no longer had the top seed, and they would be facing Colleyville in the first round. The game was going to be hosted at Colleyville, which gave the Cougars even more of an advantage. Kickoff. The game was neck and neck and neither team could score. The entire first half was over and the score was 0-0. With some words from their coach and a little water they began again the almost painful-to-watch game with so much on the line. With only two minutes left, the score remained 0-0. In the last minute, Victor Loolo made a run and scored. Colleyville was defeated.
For the Semi-Finals the Guard would be playing their cross-tour rival, Grace. The game was at Brook Hill so they had home field advantage. Again, like the Colleyville game, no one could score. With 15 minutes left in the game, Chidiebere made an amazing play off of a missed shot and passed the ball across the goal. Loolo capitalized on the play and scored the first goal of the game.
The rest of the game was hectic, with shot after shot from both sides. This lasted until the last second. If Grace scored we would go to a penalty shootout, which would give each team a good chance at a victory. With eight seconds left in the game, Grace took a shot, which Jace Kuecle shut down. The game was over and Brook Hill was on their way to state.
With all of the momentum from the past two seasons the team traveled to state. However, the outcome was not as expected, the Guard losing by only a few points. It was a long ride home and nobody wanted to say a word.
Recently our community has gone through some difficult times. Two of our very close and loved friends were in a car accident and passed away, Pasha Zapolskyy and Dana Regester. They were a huge part of the soccer team. Pasha played in the midfield and was a loving teammate and a leader of the team. Dana was described as the ultimate soccer mom, and was a light and comfort for everyone. The soccer team suffered huge losses, as well as our school. However, the soccer team will always remember our dear friends and will always be encouraged by what these two huge parts of our team did for betterment of the team. The team will always play in remembrance of Pasha and Dana.