As fall sports come to a close, the men’s varsity soccer season has winded down. It was a cold, windy Thursday night when their season came to an unfortunate end.
On that chilly night, the Hawks faced off against Lowell High School, a team whom they had defeated earlier in the season, for their first game of the annual MHSAA district tournament.
The atmosphere of the game was tense: parents were yelling, players were getting hurt, and controversial referee calls only added to the tension. After many attempts to score from both teams, the game initially ended in a tie of 1-1, resulting in overtime. After two scoreless overtime periods, the team was forced into a penalty kick shootout, where five players from each team took turns shooting a penalty shot. Of the five players from Eastern who shot at Lowell’s goal, three of the shots were successful. When Lowell took their shots, goalie Parker Crane (‘23) managed to block the first attempt, but let in the remaining four, resulting in FHE losing the penalty shootout, being eliminated from the district tournament, and ultimately ending their 2021 season.
Despite the early end of the season, the soccer team had a fairly successful year with a final record of 8-8-4. These victories came from a combination of talent, hard work, and team chemistry. Cody Soet (‘23), one of the top scorers this season, claimed that the team’s success would not have been possible without their close bond. “Everyone was friends with everyone this year. We always had so much fun hanging out with each other – this is the most fun [that] I’ve ever had on a team,” Cody said.
Ares Solivera (‘24), an exchange student from Madrid, Spain, joined the team in late September. Being a part of the team not only allowed Ares to improve his skills, but it also helped him make friends and better adjust to life in the United States. “I [have played] soccer for my entire life, and being able to play [in the United States] has helped me make friends and [become more involved] at Eastern,” Ares explained.
Though the soccer team may not have had a stellar season in terms of post-season success, the team’s close-knit relationships with each other are what made this year’s season one to remember. The team hopes that their close bonds with each other will bring them to victory for many seasons to come.
Images courtesy of Madelyn Hanson.