Boys soccer rebounds in the second half to beat Loyola

Franzen’s goal in the second half seals the win

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Ryan Ball scored the first goal in the 2-1 win against Loyola.

In a tough game against Loyola on Sept. 5, the boys’ soccer team came out with a 2-1 win.

After a slow start in the first half, in which Loyola scored the first goal, the boys rebounded, landing two goals in the second half.

Head coach Matt Ravenscraft said the team wasn’t where they needed to be in the first half, but the fresh mindset going into the second half is what brought home the win.

“We were pretty down at half time because we gave up a late goal which was sloppy on our part,” said Ravenscraft. “But we came out in the second half and I saw my team again.”

Junior Will Franzen noted how the team wasn’t happy with how they were playing in the first half. But at half time, they took the opportunity to reset.

“We got in the huddle, just the players, and we said to ourselves, ‘we’re going to go out and win the game’,” said Franzen.

Junior Jake Krueger thought that senior Aidan Crowder’s gameplay also contributed to the team eventually being able to come together in the end.

“Crowder put them to work the whole game,” Krueger said. “He made some big tackles that gave us faith in the game.”

After senior Ryan Ball scored the first goal, Franzen was convinced the team would only continue to succeed throughout the rest of the game. His conviction was proven correct when he landed the second goal, securing the win.

“I knew the second [goal] was coming after he scored the first one,” Franzen said. “I was just happy to get it myself.”

Ravenscraft believed the fact they were playing Loyola may have contributed to the rough start.

“The majority of these kids know each other from playing club soccer and so that can be a difficult thing to manage as a high school player because there’s so many intersecting relationships,” he said.

Ball said that despite having some connections with Loyola’s team it didn’t hold them back from pursuing their ultimate goal of winning.

“A lot of us knew guys on the team but we just tried to treat it like every other game,” said Ball.

Franzen thought that the familiarity of the opposing team only enhanced the energy of the game and made it more fun.

“We definitely wanted to win tonight, badly,” he said. “Winning against Loyola – against friends we know from our club teams – is an amazing feeling. Especially when they thought they were going to win at half.”

Krueger appreciated the tough competition Loyola brought to the table.

“They got a lot of young players who are confident and they’re good players,” he said. “They gave us a fight today and I think they were great.”

Going forward, Ravenscraft hopes for the strong offensive play to continue while also looking to strengthen their defense.

“Our front six is strong when they’re locked in,” Ravenscraft said. “We are still waiting to click defensively, so [we should continue] to improve on our ability to defend set pieces and also defend in the run of play.”

Krueger agreed that their offensive play is essential to their success in the future.

“Our strength is definitely keeping the ball in the final third, finding those spaces, getting to the box, and finishing like we did today,” said Krueger.

Ball also noted their dominance when the team is clicking, but acknowledged that they could work on getting to that point more often.

“When we get the ball moving on the ground, the teams can’t stop us,” he said. “We just need to work on consistency.”

With new players on the team, the boys have yet to fully sync up with one another. But with every practice and game, they’re getting closer to being that unstoppable team Ball described.

“With time and team chemistry, we’ll get it down,” Ball said.

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