Men’s soccer played a total of 13 games this season and won eight of those 13.
Last season’s total record was 21 wins to seven losses.
Sports teams have always had to learn how to overcome obstacles, but COVID was one nobody could’ve truly expected.
Even though fall sports weren’t cut short due to COVID, there were still significantly fewer games and practices that took place as a team. Senior athletes Caleb Oliver and Julian Tilford reported noticing a shift in the general performance of the team as a whole due to this.
“I believe that COVID had a huge effect on the team. The season was shortened, and we had half the amount of games as the previous years. If we had a full season, we would have had more in-game experience,” Oliver, said.
Many fall sports teams reported cases of COVID during the season. Varsity soccer had positive cases around the end of the season, which left the team short of two players for Sectionals.
“They never got discouraged with the craziness of the pandemic and what was going to happen the next day. They kept their nose down and continued to work hard regardless of what rumors about the season were going around,” Tim Velten, Varsity soccer coach, said.
After the loss of the last playoff game Webster Groves played against Clayton, the team began to look back on what it could’ve done differently in order to win State. The final score for Sectionals was a loss of 1-3.
“The game against Clayton was just a poor performance from us. I think a lot of us thought that we were just easily going to win and maybe didn’t take it as seriously as we should have, and if we could play them again, I guarantee we would beat them,” Tilford said.
The abnormality of this season wasn’t anything subtle. Players mentioned it being difficult to play at their best without the roar of fans, missing practices/playing club, or other factors that contributed to the success of the team. Even while missing these key factors, Varsity still worked its hardest.
“We really came along and played as a team. I thought it was gonna be really difficult, but we all played for each other,” Mikey Leeman, junior, said.
This is news and opinion editor Elise Wilke-Grimm’s second year on ECHO staff. She is excited to continue working on the ECHO and get lots of chances to write.
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