Men’s Soccer Shuts Out the Longhorns
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On Thursday, Oct. 6, the men’s varsity soccer team battled the Legacy Longhorns for a shutout win 3-0. Despite Legacy fighting as hard as they could, Palo prevailed. The game was full of lots of head balls as well as head-butts with the ref and his calls, but Palo played with heart, and it showed in the score.
The game started off with a kickoff led by juniors Preston Manthley and Henry Robledo Matadamas. Right off the bat, Manthley attempted a goal and had it narrowly saved by Legacy’s goalkeeper. Legacy continued to demonstrate superior passing skills, dribbling the ball up the field without flaws. Palo was just as good with getting the ball back in their possession, and several more attempts were made by Manthley for a goal.
“The first goal is the most important. It changes the energy and picks everyone up and makes you want to work harder to get another goal,” said Manthley, the junior forward.
Legacy kept up prime defense while Palo was struggling to find a coherent rhythm. This didn’t last very long, however, when moments later Manthley assisted sophomore Anthony Kaskie, who then shot a goal for the first game point for Palo. This raised the score 1-0 and seemed to spark something in Palo’s players.
As tensions rose between the two teams with Palo receiving their second offsides call and Legacy playing rough as well, the game became evidently more intense. Senior goalkeeper Levi Lord incredibly saved a goal shot by Legacy, jumping high to the top of the goalpost and only using one hand. Kaskie collided with a Longhorn on top of everything else, making it a pretty eventful part of the game.
“Making a save is a feeling like no other; you get a rush of adrenaline and it can be a key factor in who wins the game,” said Lord.
Legacy was issued the first yellow card of the game, giving Palo the chance at a corner kick but senior Max Hulet just barely missed the goal-scoring header. Both teams were gradually playing with more passion and drive, saving goals left and right on both sides along with more fake-outs and successful passes.
For the remainder of the half, fans and players alike were all raising their hands in confusion at the lack of calls by refs as there was a lot of tripping and seemingly unfair moves.
“We, as a team reacted, with dumbfounded amazement at some of the calls that were made. As one of the captains of the team, I need to be able to keep my cool and set an example for how our attitudes should be,” explained Lord.
The Panthers came out of the halftime break revived and refreshed with some new players and with a new determination to protect their goal. Just as hard as Legacy came out pushing on offense, Palo was pushing that much harder on defense. The Longhorn’s goalkeeper seemed to be faltering, as Kaskie kicked in another goal that was just barely within saving reach. Palo proved to have encouragement of fellow teammates as a high priority as well, with each player shouting “great job!” or “nice pass!” while Legacy started arguments.
The next few moments fueled Palo’s energy as a clear sight of a win became apparent. Sophomore Bryan Montoya scored with the help of Manthley. By the time all the dust settled, the score kicked up to 2-0.
“[Legacy] was a good opponent: they were more physical but we were more talented,” explained Manthley.
The remainder of the game showed Legacy slowing down and losing their drive, creating a lot more back-and-forth between the teams. Palo had intact defense, not letting anything in or around their goal. Tragically, the game was paused as junior Nitai Bettan went down with an injury, but it was quickly avenged by Manthley with a goal in the last five minutes of the game.
“I’m proud to be the captain of this amazing team and am looking forward to nothing less than winning the state championship this year,” stated Lord with pride.
Come support the Panthers at either at their next away game versus the Cimarron Spartans on Monday, Oct. 10 or at their next home game versus the Centennial Bulldogs on Monday, Oct. 17.