Boys JV soccer displays tremendous defense while going 2-1 in the OK White Conference Tournament

Boys JV soccer displays tremendous defense while going 2-1 in the OK White Conference Tournament

Entering the conference tournament on October 4 against Forest Hills Northern, the JV soccer team had a record of 5-6-1 and had suffered an unfortunate loss to South Christian. The Rangers had not played consistently on defense for most of the season. However, the boys significantly improved their defense in the conference tournament.

First, the Rangers took on the rival across town Forest Hills Northern. Northern had dominated the Rangers in their first meeting; however, a different result would occur in the much-anticipated rematch. FHC started the game locked, almost as if the team got shot of a cannon. They played smothering defense and shut Northern out for a majority of the game. Sophomore Jackson Savin was impressed with the defense’s performance.

“We had a much better game defensively than the previous time we played them,” Jackson said. “The communication and overall effort were much better, and it helped us stay in the game until the end.”

This game was a defensive stalemate, as both teams struggled to get shots on the net. FHC’s defense could only do so much before Northern got an open layup-like opportunity. With ten minutes remaining in the game, FHN scored to take a 1-0 lead. The Huskies would hold onto that lead to defeat the Rangers 1-0. Although FHC lost, it showed tremendous improvement from its first game against Northern. That same improvement would be a staple in the Rangers’ last two games. 

Next, FHC faced off with the Greenville Yellow Jackets—a team not known for its soccer program but still a dangerous one. Greenville came out aggressive; however, the Rangers still find a way to dominate the Yellow Jackets. Controlling the ball offensively, FHC created many opportunities and capitalized by scoring many goals. Most of FHC’s goals came in the first half, but the team still found a way to score six goals. Only three players scored, but they all had the same amount of goals. Sophomore Chris Dongmo, freshman Dylan Buchanan, and sophomore Jacob Robertson all had two goals. Defensively, the group came to play and only allowed one goal. Greenville struggled to possess the ball, which led to a long time of possession for the Rangers. In the end, FHC would defeat the Yellow Jackets 6-1. 

Heading into their final game at 1-1, the Rangers faced a superior opponent in Byron Center. The Bulldogs had knocked off FHC in their previous match 1-0. Revenge was the only mindset coming into the game for the Rangers. They continued their stout defense and made it an uncomfortable time for the Bulldogs. Both teams seemed evenly matched for the majority of the game. The turning point came when Dylan possessed the ball near the goal and then gave a great pass to Chris. Chris capitalized on the stellar pass and scored the go-ahead goal. Central would not let up from this point. Led by sophomores Matthew Taylor and Ryan Brom, the Rangers secured the shutout. FHC defeated the Bulldogs 1-0 to end its season. 

The Rangers finished with a 7-7-1 record, going 2-1 in the conference tournament. Their mix of grit and defensive awareness was just what the FHC coaching staff wanted to see heading into the conference tournament.