By Bruce Karnick [email protected] Alumni games, the times when parents, aunts and uncles get to step on to the field and challenge the players that smart off to them about being old, and in …
By Bruce Karnick
Alumni games, the times when parents, aunts and uncles get to step on to the field and challenge the players that smart off to them about being old, and in many cases, they are not too far off. But it sure is fun to watch and participate in.
Up first were the girls, Thursday night, it was warm and a bit humid, but 18 alumni came out to take on the entire high school group of teams. First, the C-squad squared up against the fresh and excited alumni. After 25 minutes of back-and-forth soccer, it was tied 0-0.
The second period of play put the Junior Varsity girls against the alumni. Another 25-minute period, another 0-0 game. Up until this point, all three teams had played solid defense and limited the shots on goal.
Finally, after the first two teams came in and wore down the alumni, the Varsity squad took the field. Rumor has it, the Alumni squad was confident if the order of the games were changed and they played the Varsity team first, they feel like they would have had a good chance to keep the score a little closer. As it was, Varsity won 4-0. The entire group had a great time and it’s a fun way to kick of the season for the kids.
Friday night the boys had their chance to take on their alumni. The difference here? Both teams played each other the entire time. JV and Varsity combined for a 25 or so man roster and the alumni had 26. Just like the girls, subs came in and out as needed, even in the middle of an active play. The high school guys tried to follow normal substitution rules just to build that muscle memory, but the alumni were given free subs anytime.
As good as the girl’s alumni team was, the boy’s alumni team was stacked. Coach Shane Lanning was in net for the alumni, and he was a brick wall for the first two periods of play. 2021 graduate Matthew Qualy scored both alumni goals to give the alumni the 2-0 lead after two. Unfortunately, radar indicated the rain was moving a bit quicker than expected, so the guys opted for penalty kicks instead of a third period to settle the night and determine who would take home the alumni cup.
After an intense shoot out, the Alumni retained the trophy with a 5-4 win.
Both nights were filled with revelry, good soccer and at times goofiness.
The boys first official game of the season was at 2:30 on Monday against Irondale at home. Then Thursday at 5:00 against Richfield, also at home. The girls host Bloomington at 7:00 after the boys game concludes Thursday for their home/ season opener.
The boys alumni team held on to the trophy this year, winning the game 5-4. The Raider boys learned a lot during this exciting exhibition and had a great time taking on the alumni. The kids were mostly looking for bragging rights by scoring on Coach Shane Lanning. Only four succeeded, all in the shootout. Photo courtesy of Sean Qualy.