Battle tested pioneers

A depressing time for high school soccer lovers is upon us; the end of the season. Soccer players are lacing the boots one last time, running that last full field sprint and scoring that final goal before hanging up the jersey for 10 months.

The men’s soccer team isn’t finished just yet though. It still has yet to go through playoffs, and it is ready.

“I am happy with the experience this team has obtained playing the most difficult schedule in the state,” Head Coach Scott Bryant said. According to Maher Rankings, a program that does high school soccer analysis for multiple states, the team’s strength of schedule is top in the state. “We will be battle tested heading into the tournament.” Bryant said.

Though the coaches have played a major role to get the team ready for post-season, it's the players who get it done. Sophomore Richard Porrello plays outside back, or full-back, for the varsity soccer team.

“I just want to play my best in the tournament for the team and have no regrets at the end of the season,” Porrello said. He is ready for anything is this tournament, and so is the rest of the team. “We want to make a long run in the tournament as we are capable of anything no matter what our record says.” Porrello said.

Orange finished off the regular season 6-10-1, recently adding two wins in the first two rounds of tournament play. They defeated Northland in the second round (after a first round bye) 6-0 and slipped past Thomas Worthington 2-1, after goals from Senior Zach Stiteler and Junior Justin Neighbor.

The Pioneers unfortunately lost to Dublin Coffman in the district finals, capturing the district runner-up title but will not advance any farther in the tournament.

No matter what their record says, men’s soccer has had a wonderful season full of excitement and proving doubters wrong. What’s in store for next season is unknown, but the coaches, players and fans are all looking at one thing: A state championship.

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