Suffering their first loss in soccer in six years, the Beta Gamma Delta Patriots lost Saturday to the Alpha Omega Delta Lions 2-1.
The game was expected to be an intense one from the beginning. Beta, a long-standing powerhouse, was facing one of its biggest rivals, the Omega Lions. Both teams were determined to win the game, and neither was going to back down until the final whistle was blown.
The Patriots were able to set the tone quickly and control the pace, but even though they took several shots, they couldn’t manage to capitalize on any of their opportunities. Junior Benjamin Van Holstyn was subbed in for Beta, and it was immediately clear that he was going to have a say in the outcome.
After several failed attempts on goal, Van Holstyn capitalized with a low shot that beat the keeper and found its way into the net, shooting Beta ahead 1-0.
“I told the boys that we had nothing to lose, and Beta had everything to lose with [this] game,” said Vince Wilson, Omega’s coach, and one of the team’s key players.
Beta’s goal energized Omega and increased the intensity of play from both sides. Omega, now playing catch-up, was willing to take more aggressive chances, and Beta wanted nothing but to defend its lead.
Finally, after much give and take, Omega was able to break through the Beta barricade as Zach Mercado passed the ball to Wilson, who sent his shot past the keeper and tied the game at 1-1 for the break.
At the beginning of the second half, Beta dribbled the ball into the corner and popped it toward the middle of the box. As Clay Wiginton attempted a header, the Beta fans held their breath and then groaned as the ball hit the crossbar and bounced away from the goal.
Omega worked the ball down the field into its attacking third, and Beta worked hard to fend Omega off. But Omega’s determination to score was evident, and senior Isaac Barcroft headed in a high ball to push Omega ahead. Beta now felt the pressure to score again, but Omega would have none of it. Omega intensified its defensive pressure on Beta and managed to keep Beta’s shots from meeting their intended target. Omega not only won an important game, but successfully put an end to a dynastic winning streak for Beta.
“We have not lost in six years,” Van Holstyn said. “It’s a very hard loss; it is kind of a letdown to all the guys that came before us, but we can still make the playoffs and win the Turkey Bowl this year.”