Boys Varsity Soccer
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Oct 4, 2018
- : 3
FREEPORT HIGH SCHOOL: 2
Jaxon Armstrong was on a mission. With the score knotted at 2-2 with under five minutes to play, and back on their heels after allowing a late game-tying Freeport goal, the Royal Lions needed a spark. Armstrong subbed back into the game at outside midfield like someone had lit a fuse under him. Minutes after reentering the game, Armstrong took a ball down the right flank, cut inside after eating up a couple Pretzel defenders with his foot moves and ripped a shot that just missed the right corner of the goal. Instead, it caromed off the crossbar. Armstrong’s disappointment was brief; Senior captain Andy Volk was crashing the net and in position to tap in the rebound for a game-winning goal with less than two minutes to play.
“Coach told me to go in because he needed more energy on the field, so I did what he asked and almost scored a goal from it,” he said.
After the goal, Armstrong whipped off his protective head band and spiked it to the ground in a move of pure joy and relief. His contribution was symbolic. The sophomore winger missed three weeks of the season with a concussion and was struggling to find his place. Similarly, RC soccer had lost four of their last five games and was questioning its true identity as a team.
“Since we lost so many in a row, our confidence took a hit and our team chemistry was shaken,” said senior co-captain Max Cincinnati. “This win really solidifies our team for the playoffs.”
The 3-2 win over Freeport was a second straight solid game against a NIC-10 opponent and a much-needed win to end the regular season. The Royal Lions – the number one seed in their regional bracket -- finished with a 16-6-1 record and 103 goals, both the best in program history. Five of their six losses were to larger Class 2A/3A teams. Three players – Volk, Cincinnati and Dominic Meyer have 20 or more goals.
Now with contributions from the wings – sophomore Gage Wiebe was integral to the first goal, combining with Volk who passed to a streaking Meyer for the tap-in, and junior Joe Glass freshman Niko Rosado providing solid defensive play – the team proved they can diversify their attack.
“The wings played well,” said senior co-captain center back Cole Dunn. “They contributed in the fact that we were using them in combo plays throughout the game.”
RC will face the winner of South Beloit/Lutheran in Tuesday’s first match of the regional semi-finals hosted at Rockford Christian.