Boys soccer season comes to an end after penalty shootout loss to Richard Montgomery in regional final

By Diego Elorza

The boys soccer team (11–4–2) saw their 2022 campaign come to an end in heartbreaking fashion on Tuesday night after a penalty shootout loss to the Richard Montgomery Rockets (10–4–1) in the regional final.

Coming into the match, both teams had pulled off major upsets in the regional semifinals; the Vikes had knocked off B-CC 2–1 and the Rockets defeated Churchill 3–2 in overtime as well. Both squads knew it would be a physical battle and that was evident immediately. The Rockets committed a few fouls early giving the Vikes excellent scoring opportunities, but unfortunately, they were unable to convert any. The game stayed even until around the 25th minute when Richard Montgomery finally broke the ice on a putback goal, giving them a 1–0 lead. The Vikes earned themselves several corner kicks right before halftime, but outstanding goalkeeper play from the Rockets prevented them from evening up the score. After 40 minutes of play, the Rockets were still clinging to a one-goal lead.

Looking to tie the game up, the Vikes were aggressive right from the opening whistle of the second half. The physicality from the first half carried over, as both teams combined to pick up double-digit yellow cards including two red cards. The Vikes continued to play technically, making use of their big players during set pieces and throw-ins. Unfortunately, every scoring opportunity the Vikes had seemed to hit the post or go just wide of the goal. With under 30 seconds left to play and the season on the line, the Vikes needed a miracle to send the game to overtime. Luckily, sophomore Hayden Walsh stepped up, sending a beautiful throw-in into the box where fellow sophomore Sean Curran miraculously got a head on it and knocked it into the back of the net. With the crowd blaring and hearts racing, the region final headed to overtime.

The Vikes continued to dominate time of possession once again but could not convert on multiple scoring opportunities. After two 10-minute periods of extra time, the game heading to penalty kicks still tied at one apiece. Unfortunately for the Vikes, the Rockets goalkeeper made an unbelievable save on the Vikes final penalty kick, winning the match and the regional championship for Richard Montgomery.

The Vikes finished the season with a remarkable 11–4–2 record.