by Ryan Duvall ‘21
After a successful regular season where they were crowned division champions, the boys varsity soccer team was gifted with a first round bye in the 4A State Playoffs. The Warriors were set to face the winner of Northwood vs Springbrook, two teams that Sherwood had beaten during the regular season. Northwood then defeated Springbrook 1-0, setting the stage for Sherwood to avenge their 2018 season, where they fell to Northwood in the playoffs. Instead, the game was a repeat of last year’s disappointment.
The Warriors were defeated 2-1 by the Gladiators in a very tight contest. The game started out slow, with both teams scoreless at the half. Then, in the 55th minute, senior Jacob Kamara scored off a beautiful cross to put the Warriors up 1-0. Things were looking good for Sherwood, as they remained on top with the clock winding down. But with 12 seconds remaining, Northwood netted a goal off of a free kick, tying the game and sending it to overtime.
In overtime, Northwood pushed their emphasis towards defense, as they held many midfielders back in an attempt to stop the Warriors’ offense. The Gladiators strategy worked, as the game remained 1-1 after two overtime periods. The teams went to a penalty shootout, where the team that made the most penalty kicks in five attempts would win the game. Sherwood netted three out of their five penalties, while Northwood netted three of their first four, leading to an intense showdown between the final shooter for the Gladiators and starting goalkeeper Bronson Shepherd. Unfortunately, the Gladiators scored the penalty, knocking out Sherwood for the second straight year.
“I thought the overall season was really good. We had a great season and made some really good memories,” said junior Derick Ventura. “It’s a shame that it had to end so soon but we all played our hearts out and became brothers. There were some games we could have done better, but we learned from that and improved.”