Boys soccer falls to Lake Nona


photo by Juliana Joyner

Senior Parker Wickizer defends the ball against East River. The team won the game 2-1.

A season of heavy turnovers and  unexpected success ended on Feb. 5 for the boys soccer team as they lost their district semifinal game to Lake Nona 1-0. Nine shots were attempted during the game with two each from forwards Parker Wickizer, Brandon Adams and Randy McClean. Despite keeper Ryan Schmitt’s 10 saves, Lake Nona scored its one goal with six minutes remaining.

“They’re a very good passing team who can work the ball around the field well,” Wickizer said.

At the start of the second half, the team started to come together and fight.

“It took us until the second half to really exhibit passion and emotion in our play. First half it was like we weren’t playing as if this could be our last game,” McClean said.

Change happened when the midfield and back line started working more cohesively to ensure everyone had a man to mark and keep the defenses organized, but it was not enough to advance.

“There’s no worse feeling than reaching the end of a season like this. You can see the disappointment in every player although we put forth a solid effort. It’s a hard pill to swallow,” McClean said.

The team had previously won against University 3-1 on Jan. 31 in the district quarterfinals scoring one goal in the first half and two goals in the second. Midfielder Brayden Seymour and McClean both scored one goal and assist, while defender Scott Beliech scored one goal, and midfielder Conor Mohre got one assist.

At the beginning of the season, the team was rated fifth out of six teams in the district. The team dealt with losing nine starters and starting the season with a difficult stretch of games after the holiday break. 

We were very young as far as varsity experience,” head coach Michael McAvoy said.  “So many players stepped up and as the season progressed each gained valuable minutes.”

They rallied and had a five-game winning streak heading into the district playoffs and worked their way up to third in the district before the game on Wednesday, ending their season at  10-4-4. 

“I am so proud of the accomplishments of this year’s team. Every player brought their absolute best and as a coach that is all I can ask of them,” said McAvoy.