Waves fall short in playoff match vs Amory

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Courtesy of Heath Stevens

The boys’ team advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 2013.

Luke Bowles, Managing Editor

Despite making the playoffs for the first time in eight years, the Wave’s season ended after an 8-2 loss vs the Amory Panthers on Tuesday, Jan. 26. 

Going into the game, the team was down by five players. The only two goals came from junior Nicholas Djedjos and senior Trevor Allen. Despite the blowout loss, both Djedjos and Allen stated that the score did not reflect the reality of the game. 

“We played hard and never gave in,” Djedjos said. “We were down 6-0 by midway through the second half, one goal away from being mercy ruled, but I scored a quick goal, and then, Trevor scored a free kick goal. Unfortunately, due to the lack of fresh legs, we couldn’t keep the pressure, and ultimately lost 8-2.”

“Tuesday’s game was something else,” Allen said. “Amory was a good school when I played them at my home school, and they still are. We held up well, given the circumstances of the season, and it was one of the most fun games I’ve played in a while. Some of the best moments in the game for me was when I assisted Nicholas and when I scored from a free kick. Overall a positive experience though, and I am proud of how we handled not having five more players.”

“Five soccer players were prohibited from playing this game due to school offenses, so we only had 13 players,” Djedjos said. “Coming into the game, Amory was going to be a challenge, but that was kind of the nail in the coffin before the game even started.”

Senior Jesse Tran shared similar feelings about being short-handed for the game. 

“The issue was that the other team just had fresh legs to substitute in every 10 minutes while we were stuck with only two substitutes since we lost a few of our players right before the game,” Tran said. 

Many players also expressed frustration that, because of its residential nature, MSMS has had more a more difficult time forming a cohesive team and practicing enough together. 

”Since COVID-19, we have not been able to practice as much as any other team that we were facing against,” Tran said. “We spent months without each other. We spent months without much conditioning or touches on the ball.”

“From missing weeks of practice to cancelled games, our team chemistry definitely suffered more than a normal year,” Djedjos said. “Nevertheless, we practiced at home individually and trained at whatever soccer field we could get our hands on. The fact that we beat St. Joseph’s, a traditionally top ranked soccer school, is an achievement in itself.”

Several other seniors voiced gratitude for their teammates and sadness about playing their last high school game of soccer. 

“It was bittersweet,” Tran said. “I love the game of soccer, and I especially love it with the boys that I play it with at MSMS. I wish I could have a lot more time with them competitively, but we still created countless memories and completely blew our expectations with going to the playoffs, so I am more than grateful for them.”

“Playing my last game was a little saddening for sure,” senior Cameron Wright said. “It was the last time I could ever take the field with some of the best teammates I’ve ever had.”

“It was the last high school game and that stung a little, but I will be okay,” Allen said. “This won’t be my last game.”