Boys Soccer Wins Class 4 District 5 Championship Over FZW

On Thursday, Oct. 27, the Knights varsity boys soccer team faced the FZW Jaguars in the Class 4 District 5 championship at FZN.

Both teams took care of 1-0 victories in the first round of the District Tournament. FHN defeated the Panthers of FZN, while FZW took down the Spartans of FHC. Physical play ran rampant throughout as the Jaguars attempted to avenge their two losses to the Knights in the regular season.

Senior Torrion Robinson fends off FZW's Chase Horst (Adam Quigley)

Torrion Robinson fends off FZW’s Chase Horst (Adam Quigley)

After just one shot on goal in the first 30 minutes of the contest, senior Connor Crain found the corner of the net in the 31st minute to give the Knights a 1-0 headed into halftime.

“That gave us everything,” senior forward Torrion Robinson said about Crain’s goal. “We just kept going, kept going. We knew that we could relax a little bit but that we still had to keep the pressure on them.”

The Knights continued what their coaching staff has instilled in them: pressuring the opponent on offense and defense.

Senior Michael Scanlon and Dawsan Phangsouthtan fight for the ball (Adam Quigley)

Michael Scanlon and Dawsan Phangsouthtan fight for the ball (Adam Quigley)

“We’ve got to continue with the game plan,” head coach Larry Scheller said at halftime, “pressuring the other team, continuing to get turnovers and taking advantage of our opportunities. We’ll just keep it up and put in the work for another 40 minutes.”

The second half began slowly, with neither team registering a shot on goal until the 25th minute.

Senior goalkeeper Fletcher Dietrich sits near the goal during a stoppage in play in the second half (Adam Quigley)

Goalkeeper Fletcher Dietrich sits near the goal during a stoppage in play in the second half, embodying the apparent lack of motivation on offense for both sides(Adam Quigley)

It was in the 25th minute, though, that FHN bought themselves insurance on their one-goal lead with a bottom-corner shot to beat a defender and the keeper by senior Husam Hamdan, mirroring the Knights’ earlier score.

“When I got the ball, I was a little shaky,” Hamdan said, “but I looked up and saw the bottom corner open, and I just put it in. After that, it was just a different feeling. I knew we had it secured. We had all the momentum, and I knew nothing was going to stop us.”

FHN held onto their lead with an impressive defensive stand, not allowing a single shot on goal in the entirety of the second half.

Senior Ozzy Guerrero clears the ball in the midst of FZW's Bryan Prichard (Adam Quigley)

Osvaldo Guerrero clears the ball in the midst of FZW’s Bryan Prichard (Adam Quigley)

“We’ve been together for almost sixth months, and we just trust each other,” senior defenseman Osvaldo Guerrero said. “We always play as a team, and that gives us the results every time. All year, we’ve been working as a team, pressuring teams from the back all the way to the top. That’s our game plan for every game: try to put them under pressure, make them make mistakes and go at them right away.”

There was a clear shift in the Knights’ playing style after Hamdan’s goal, and the blame rested squarely on the shoulders of the FHN head coach.

“Our boys play a lot off of Scheller’s emotions,” assistant coach Mark Olwig said.

With the 2-0 victory, the Knights advance to the Sectional Round, in which they will face the Vikings of FHHS on the road next Tuesday, Nov. 1.

Senior Ozzy Guerrero raises the District Champions plaque after defeating FZW 2-0 on Oct. 27 (Adam Quigley)

Osvaldo Guerrero raises the District Champions plaque after defeating FZW 2-0 on Oct. 27 (Adam Quigley)

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