C Squad Boys Soccer Suffer Difficult Defeat
Joey Randazzo

Thank you, once again, to Diccon Ong for the wonderful game recap. 

The cup of good fortune finally ran dry for the boys of the C-Squad soccer team.
We traveled to Wadsworth, Ohio to play the Wadsworth Grizzly Bears. It was our
second consecutive game of the week. Once again (just as in our first away match
against Twinsburg), we got off to a late start and, after a 50-minute drive, arrived at
the field just minutes before the game was set to begin. Both the Wadsworth coach
and referee agreed to allow us a few extra minutes to warm up, but we really didn’t
have a chance to settle ourselves before the game.
The abrupt start certainly did us no favors, but our boys nevertheless managed to
play reasonably well in the first half. Perhaps that is a bit of an overstatement. It
might be more accurate to say that they had moments, here and there, where they
were able to move the ball around the field relatively effectively. Unfortunately,
they were also making errors regarding techniques and tactics we had repeatedly
drilled in recent practices. It was somewhat frustrating to watch. Our opponents
were a solid squad, but they didn’t appear to possess skills significantly superior to
ours. Rather, they simply seemed a tad more fit, disciplined, and hungry for a win.
They got off twice as many quality shots on goal as did we (6 to 3), but each team’s
keeper prevented all but one shot from violating their nets. The score at halftime
was 1-1.
Coach Gilbert led a mini-classroom session during the half, utilizing several soccer
balls, a pair of extra guards, and a med kit to illustrate what our shape on the field
was meant to look like. Our guys tried to take it in, but despite being tied, there
was a sense of unease among our crew. They were mostly subdued and silent. We
had a thin bench for this game (just three players), so our starters were being put to
the test as far as their conditioning was concerned. While a few of our players
never seemed to tire, it was clear enough from the sideline that some of the boys
were feeling it. This was somewhat surprising, as the field we were playing upon
today was only a fraction of the size of the WRA varsity pitch we had battled on just
a day earlier. Regardless, the cheer the boys gave before starting the second half
seemed lacking in conviction.
As foreshadowed by the lackluster cheer, the second half started out poorly for us.
It seemed like we were almost immediately on our heels. The Grizzlies were
mauling us, and while we could occasionally interrupt their advances, we could
never string together more than a small handful of passes ourselves before losing the ball. In the twelfth minute of the half, a conceded corner resulted in a ball flying
in from the left wing and moving directly over the head of our keeper and toward
the far post. A very poor decision on the part of one of our center backs (he batted
the ball away from the goal with his hand) resulted in a red card and a penalty kick
awarded to our opponents. They converted the penalty without trouble, and we
played down a man for the rest of the contest.
From that point on, we were mainly on the defensive. However, we did manage to
make a half dozen or so threatening advances on their defensive third of the field.
The last of these developed in the final couple minutes of the contest. We had put
together a series of short passes and were advancing the ball through the center of
our midfield. To shut us down, a Wadsworth player made a hard foul on one of our players, earning himself a yellow card. We had a free kick from only about twenty-
five yards out. There was only a little more than a minute left to play at this point. We were down by just one, of course, so every player but our goalie and center
forward played up to improve our chances of cleaning up any ball bouncing around
inside the 18’. Unfortunately, the free kick floated right into the hands of the
Wadsworth keeper, and he quickly punted the ball into the other half of the field
which allowed for a clean breakaway by one of the Wadsworth forwards. He scored
his team’s third goal of the afternoon with just 30 seconds left on the clock. The
game ended 1-3.

Game Stats:
WRA – 1
WHS – 3
Shots on Goal:
WRA – 5
WHS – 9

WRA – 6
WHS – 4
WRA – 0
WHS – 4

Free Kicks:
WRA – 8
WHS – 3

Julian Farian '26 scored our only goal (31’ 1st half). Assist by Bob Fan '25.
Keeper Asher Biehn '25 had 6 saves, same as in yesterday’s game.
A red card was presented to Grant Adams '26 in the second half. After the game, the
ref changed it to a yellow.