In its final home game of the season, the Tri-City United boys soccer team played its heart out in its closest game yet. The Titans proved to be a match for their opponent, Schaeffer Academy, but were undone by a last minute goal.
Coach Brett Padfield said it was the best game the team played all season. The Titans possessed the ball for the majority of the first half and made some close shot attempts at the goal in the second.
Connor Skluzacek stood in the way of an empty net saving, the team from a goal. Sophomore goalkeeper, Luke Skluzacek, saved everything that came his way.
Unfortunately, in the last minute, TCU had a brief mental lapse brought on by nerves. Schaeffer scored off of an unmarked opponent on a corner kick, and the team lost a heartbreaker.
Reflecting on the past two months, Padfield saw the game as a great moment of growth.
“The team has completed a full regular season and has established TCU as a legitimate program,” said Padfield. “The wins and losses will come, but as a growing-team (Varsity and JV), this was a major step forward. I appreciate the commitment and the hard-work the players, coaches, and parents did this season to support the team.”
The game was also significant for many of the student athletes. After a full season of waiting, Juan Lopez jumped from JV to Varsity and finally had the opportunity to play a Varsity home game. For many of the eight graduating seniors, this may potentially be their last competitive home soccer game.
“Most importantly, the team had fun,” said Padfield. “Most teams will get down on themselves after the first few goals are scored, and cannot enjoy the game as it is supposed to be played. This happened to us all year. Saturday was different because I saw more passion in the way the game was viewed, coached, and played. Ultimately, the players were having fun and it showed.”
The season isn’t over for the Titans just yet. On Thursday, they tackle St. Peter in an away game at 7 p.m.