It was an unbelievable finish. It just didn’t work Patterson’s way.
Patterson’s boys soccer team, deadlocked at 2-2 with Aberdeen in the second round of the state playoffs, committed a foul which gave the Eagles a free kick. The kick missed, and it looked like the Clippers would be able to clear the ball, like they had been able to do for most of the game when being pressured. But the ball remained in the center of the box.
Aberdeen put the ball in the back of the net with just over two minutes remaining to go ahead 3-2..
Patterson desperately tried to put in the equalizer but was unsuccessful as Aberdeen left the Clippers’ home turf, ending their season last Tuesday.
“It was unfortunate we gave up the free kick in that situation,” Patterson coach Adam Trifiro said. “The No. 1 thing I was thinking about as soon as it happened is immediately try to move past it and get our guys forward to try and tie it in the closing minutes.”
The loss ended a great run from Patterson’s seven-man senior class, which finished their careers with a 40-8-2 record and four city championships.
Patterson had its hands full from the start of the game, giving up five shots to an attacking Aberdeen squad before surrendering a goal on the Eagles’ sixth try. In the first half, Aberdeen took nine shots compared to Patterson’s five.
But Patterson connected for two goals on its five first half shots. The first came shortly after Aberdeen scored from junior midfielder Cyprian Ekegwo. Ekegwo skied in the air to head a cross from sophomore Yoppe Kalasa into the top right corner of the goal.
Before the first half ended, sophomore forward Josue Cruz lofted a deep shot into the back of the net to put the Clippers up 2-1.
But the Aberdeen assault continued in the second half. The Eagles got two goals on 12 shots in the following period while keeping Patterson from many scoring chances. In total, Aberdeen outshot Patterson 21-9.
“Our biggest thing was we did not do a good job controlling the ball through the midfield and giving us an opportunity to challenge their defenders,” Trifiro said. “We got stuck in a lot of one on one situations.”
Following the game, Trifiro singled out each senior and told them to keep their heads held high.
“They work hard, they’re dependable,” Trifiro said. “Any coach would have been lucky to have the opportunity to work with them. We’ll definitely miss them.”
by Jason Butt