A group of about 10 face-painted O’Bryant middle school students attended the O’Bryant and Latin Academy boys’ soccer matchup Monday afternoon.
They were participating in their first “Spirit Day” of the year by cheering on the Tigers (3-0) during a nail-biting 1-0 victory over Latin Academy (1-3).
“Spirit Day(s) are something we’ve been doing for about ten years,” O’Bryant Middle School science teacher and Spirit Day chaperone Johanna Mendillo said. “We take the newest students, which are the seventh graders, and take them to different O’Bryant varsity athletics contests over the year.”
Unfortunately, the middle school students arrived a few minutes late to the game and were not able to witness the only goal scored. But that didn’t seem to dampen their mood.
On the contrary, it seemed these future Tigers brought some much-needed energy to a crowd that was trying to watch the game amidst the glare from the sun.
Almost immediately, senior forward David Agastra was able to turn an Alberto Butts-Lee pass into a goal. This was three minutes into the game, and would ultimately prove the only offense the Tigers would need to capture their third win.
“Offensively we had possession of the ball in their zone or midfield for the majority of the game,” Agastra said. “I think we did well defensively, too. After that first goal, we took over.”
The Tigers took the 1-0 lead into halftime behind stellar defensive play by midfielder Butts-Lee, and great ball control from fellow midfielder Anis Medjahed and forward Junior Depina.
In the second half, the Tigers were able to play efficient soccer, and relied on their defense and goalie to shut out the Dragons.
“We played some really controlled soccer out there today,” O’Bryant coach Ian Doreian said. “We scored fist quickly off that set piece, and we’re usually on the other end of those. So that was a positive.”
An example of a set piece is a corner kick.
Latin Academy coach Dennis Allen took his team to the shade after the game and had a long talk with them. He told his players they needed to communicate better on the field.
“Today had a disappointing result,” he said. “We just didn’t play well as a team. We definitely have to keep working on finishing games. The team still has a long way to go.”
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