Boys soccer claims 6A state championship

The boys varsity soccer team defeated Washburn Rural High School today after four rounds of overtime and two rounds of penalty kicks, claiming the 6A state championship.

Olivia Baird, Online Editor

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The boys varsity soccer team claimed the 2015 6A state championship against Washburn Rural High School today at the College Blvd. Activity Center. The team won after going into four rounds of overtime and two rounds of penalty kicks.

18 minutes into the first half, senior Brian Kim passed the ball to senior Matthew Carey, who then shot and scored, putting BVNW in the lead.

In the second half, WRHS responded with a goal after the first minute and a second goal with 21 minutes left in the half. 8 minutes later, Carey assisted Kim in the second goal for BVNW, tying the game with a score of 2-2.

The two teams advanced to overtime when the second half ended in a tie. After two 10 minute and two five minute overtime periods, the score remained at 2-2. The game then went into a penalty kickoff.

Head coach Rick Pribyl said he thought something would happen for the team during the four overtime periods.

“I thought we could win it in the overtime, I really did, but then when it goes to penalty kicks, it’s a 50-50 chance,” Pribyl said.

Goalkeeper and senior Connor Mathes said the team had been practicing penalty shootouts for the past week, and he was surprisingly calm while in the goal.

“I had a lot of faith in my team and I knew that if they scored, I would help my team to get it done,” Mathes said.

The first round of five penalty kicks passed, and each team had four successful shots on goal. The second round of penalty kicks ensued, this time being sudden-victory.

WRHS missed their first shot, and senior Jordan Stenberg followed. He shot and scored, making BVNW the state championship winner.

BVNW lost last season to WRHS in the state semifinal game, and Mathes said the opportunity to defeat them a year later was something the team looked forward to.

“It’s absolutely an amazing feeling,” Mathes said. “Last year losing to Washburn was awful, so now a year later beating them in the state final is just amazing. It’s great.”

Carey said the team was very close this year, which helped them on the field.

“We all really love each other,” Carey said. “It’s like a big brotherhood. I feel like when you have a bond that tight, it just helps the team through adversities and (we) do anything to work for each other.”

Pribyl said the leadership provided by the seniors was a large factor in the team’s success, along with the skill level each player brought to the team.

“It was a team not with any superstar, it was just all kinds of stars all over the place,” Pribyl said. “It was the Milky Way.”

Pribyl went on to say that he was proud of the team and the work they put in this season.

“I’m so excited for the boys,” Pribyl said. “They’ve worked really hard and with 15 seniors on the team, it’s probably one of the neatest championships we’ve won at Northwest.”