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Huskies defeat Lancers, 2-1, in overtime to win regional championship
The boys varsity soccer team defeated the Shawnee Mission East Lancers in the regional championship, 2-1, Oct. 28. Senior Joseph Rahto scored the game-winning goal for the Huskies in overtime.
October 28, 2021
Coming off a 3-2 win over Olathe South in triple overtime two nights before, senior Yousif Radhi said the team had confidence they could compete with Shawnee Mission East, despite being the lower seed for the second straight game.
“[The win over Olathe South] really showed us that in the playoffs all the teams are really equal and we can compete with any team we come out against and that we could come out with a win today,” Radhi said.
Senior Joseph Rahto agreed with Radhi, adding that the team gained energy and intensity after the win over Olathe South.
“I think we were more pumped up and more energized. We were the underdog going into that game and the underdog going into this game, so we had the momentum going and it helped us out a lot,” Rahto said.
With 27:56 remaining in the first half, the Lancers scored a goal to take a 1-0 lead, which would remain the score through the end of the first half.
Head coach Brian Pollack said he told the team at halftime that they needed to be more aggressive in the second half.
“I told them at halftime, that we’ve got to get more aggressive going forward because we’re only going to get so many chances against good teams. I think it put a little more purpose behind us on how aggressively we attacked,” Pollack said.
Throughout the entire game, the temperature was in the 40s and rain was pouring down. Radhi said the weather conditions caused some difficulties for the Huskies.
“I think [the weather] had a huge impact on the game. We had to set our minds straight and get prepared in warmups for the cold and wetness. Also, the ball slid a lot faster and sped up the pace of the game,” Radhi said.
The Huskies trailed the Lancers for a majority of the second half, until senior Ryan Masterson found the back of the net after a deflection in the box by the Lancers with 14:21 remaining in the second half. Radhi said Masterson’s goal gave the team the confidence and motivation to keep fighting.
“Ryan’s goal showed us that we weren’t out of this game, not even for a little. It showed us that we had a big chance going through and we were building on the momentum and needed to capitalize on it,” Radhi said.
At the end of regulation, the score remained tied, 1-1, and the game went into overtime. However, the Huskies would need just over two minutes of the overtime. Junior Gustavo Silva delivered a pass to Rahto at the top of the box, who shot to the bottom left corner, scoring the game-winning goal.
Rahto, who scored the game-tying goal against Olathe South on Tuesday, said it was a great feeling to help the team out again in a crucial moment.
“It was really exciting,” Rahto said. “It was my second goal in two games and it felt great to score in a big moment again.”
With the win, the Huskies became regional champions for the first time since 2015. Radhi said it was a great feeling to experience, and something he had been waiting for since he started playing on the varsity team.
“It feels great. All of my years on varsity we haven’t won anything like this,” Radhi said. “Now, we’re onto state and we just need to keep the momentum going.”
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